Saturday’s game vs. FIU canceled

There won’t be any college football in Bloomington this weekend.

Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Florida International has decided to cancel Saturday’s game at Indiana.

The Hoosiers are now looking to schedule an opponent to play at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 7, the team’s previously scheduled bye week. Tickets and parking passes issued for the FIU game will be redeemable for the game against the new opponent.

FIU, which is located in Miami, moved last week’s scheduled home opener against Alcorn State to Birmingham, Ala., where its football team, along with several other of its fall sports programs, have been based for nearly a week.

Officials from both IU and FIU have been in contact about the possibility of a cancellation since Sunday afternoon. Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said he offered to pay for each of FIU’s displaced programs in Birmingham to fly to Indianapolis for the week, but FIU athletic director Pete Garcia respectfully declined.

Indiana and FIU have agreed to reschedule the game in Bloomington, though that likely won’t occur until both teams have mutual openings a few years down the line.

“I felt sorry for those guys,” Glass told The Herald-Times. “They evacuated to Birmingham and took several of their other teams with them. They got caught in the aftermath of Irma there. There are tropical storms there. Last I talked to Pete, they were still in Birmingham and thought it would be at least until Wednesday before they’d even get back to Miami.”

Recognizing that it might be difficult to pull off a road game this week, Garcia told Glass on Sunday that Indiana might want to begin searching for a new opponent to fill its schedule.

For Indiana, finding one will be tricky.

Georgia Tech, which also had its game at Central Florida cancelled this weekend, has a mutual bye on Oct. 7. So does South Florida.

The more likely scenario for Indiana is looking at Football Championship Subdivision programs whose schedules match. Although the Big Ten had been prohibiting member schools from scheduling FCS opponents, it recently updated its policy.

Under the new guidelines, Big Ten football programs may schedule one FCS opponent during years when teams have only four Big Ten home games. This year, Indiana fits that criteria.

One of the FCS teams that might be a possibility is Charleston Southern, which had last week’s game against South Carolina State cancelled and also shares a Oct. 7 open date.

“There are a lot of moving pieces here with games getting cancelled, so different people are in play,” Glass said. “We’ve been looking at who might be potential partners and are honing in. I’m optimistic that we may be able to get that filled because we’d like to have a full 12-game schedule, particularly this year when we only have six home games. We really don’t want to dip down to five. We’ve been very focused on that the last couple days.”

Indiana has 21 players who hail from the state of Florida. Coach Tom Allen and his son, freshman linebacker Thomas Allen, also spent time living in Tampa while Allen worked as defensive coordinator at South Florida prior to accepting the IU job in 2016.

Allen has been glued to his phone, checking on friends in the area since Irma began battering the southern peninsula during the weekend.

“(Sunday) night, just from my personal experience with our friends down there, we were on the phone with them up until one in the morning checking on them,” Allen said Monday afternoon. “They’ve kind of been hunkered down. Got some messages this morning from our close friends down in that area to say that they’re okay, which is great. A lot of damage.”

8 comments

  1. Agree with your second sentence DD.
    That cost IU what was thought a sure win to reach 6.
    How about a top 30 ranked team or MO Valley type team?
    (I know schedules are already set) F.G. marketing safety…Charleston Southern? How about Butler, Hanover, Manchester, Taylor, Franklin College type schools? How about Intramural flag football team, or an another team scrimmage game? Just wondering if a top 30 team was available or even a Mo Valley or MAC team etc would F.G. sincerely seek them out?

  2. Looks like it is Charleston Southern. If you look at the MO Valley or MAC not sure any of them had buys that week and would be willing to give it up, but may have for the right amount of money. Probably best shot was to look at some team affected by either Harvey or Irma and had that date opened. A lot of things would have had to fall into place to get a “bigger” opponent.

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