How Hurricanes Impacted College Football

Story posted September 12, 2017 in CommRadio by Joe Esquivel-Murphy

Southern parts of the United States have been through severe conditions as Hurricane Harvey battered Houston and Irma’s path devastated the entire state of Florida. The horrific storms have been a significant problem for football teams across the region with games being cancelled or postponed numerous times.

Harvey triggered the cancellation of games with Houston’s home opener against Texas-San Antonio on September 2. The time off did not have any serious side effects as the Cougars upended Arizona 19-16 over the weekend, but their chances of solidifying themselves nationally took a hit.

A smaller school like Houston has trouble establishing themselves as a major player for big bowls because of their weak conference and a cancelled game does nothing but hurt their cause. Ed Oliver is a stud defensively, but it’ll take more than him for Houston to gain a national audience.

Harvey’s impact on the game is miniscule compared to Irma as multiple schools across the state became affected by the storm’s path. The Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles were the program’s most affected by the storm as at least two of their games were affected by it.

The huge rivalry game between the two schools got postponed to October 7 after their matchups with Sun Belt members Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe respectively. The loss of a game is hard, but the lack of practice time might hurt these teams even more.

The Hurricanes and Seminoles were both expected to challenge for their divisional title in the ACC as the Coastal is up for grabs, while Clemson is not as good as it has been due to the draft and graduation. The lack of practice time affects the chemistry that these teams will have, making it harder for them to gain ground in the division and even the College Football Playoff.

Arkansas State was also affected as it lost a chance to get the school’s best win in program history. The Red Wolves do not normally get big time programs like the University of Miami to travel to Jonesboro, Arkansas and the opportunity of a big payday vanishes.

Florida International and Florida Atlantic played their games, but they did not play them in the state of Florida as the Golden Panthers moved their game to Birmingham, Alabama. The Owls traveled to Madison to play Wisconsin and stayed there until after the storm.

The willingness of these teams to continue to play these games made people question why the Hurricanes cancelled the game so quickly while Arkansas State was willing to accommodate the Hurricanes in any way possible. Florida and Florida State both moved up their games before ultimately cancelling them due to Irma.

The postponement of the game means a potential loss in revenue as it might not be shown in primetime, the original time slot before the storm. Miami did lose the money they gave to Arkansas State to play them, but the loss of a primetime game might hurt even more as the Hurricanes are not a program with a lot of money.

The amount of money lost by all the programs affected by Harvey and Irma is astounding as these programs will struggle to find ways to make up that revenue. The reduced practice time will also hurt as some of the Florida schools might not be able to practice for some of their upcoming games due to the water levels in their area.


Joseph Esquivel-Murphy is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact him, email