UPDATE: The LSU game against will remain as in Gainesville, Florida as scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern.
BATON ROUGE, La. (WWL-TV) – LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said last week that new interim football coach Ed Orgeron would be auditioning for the permanent job for the remainder of this season. That includes game days, press conferences and hurricanes, which was something grown accustomed to by former coach Les Miles over the previous 12 years.
LSU and Florida athletic department and university officials and the Southeastern Conference office were in communication Tuesday regarding Hurricane Matthew’s projected path up the Florida coast and possibly coming within 150 miles of Gainesville, Florida, by late Thursday or early Friday. LSU is scheduled to play Florida in Gainesville at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPN.
As for Tulane, they play Central Florida in Orlando on Friday.
Athletic Director Troy Dannen said, there has been “no decision yet, hoping for decision by early Wednesday.” Some options are moving the game to Saturday or possibly Nov. 5 since both share a bye week then.
Matthew hit Haiti at about 6 a.m. central time on Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane and could be heading northwest up the eastern coast and passing by St. Augustine Beach, Florida, which is 75 miles east of Gainesville on the Atlantic Ocean. The storm could also impact the Georgia at South Carolina game, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina.
“As a matter of practice, the SEC communicates regularly with schools on significant weather issues and will remain in contact with the schools involved in both football games that have potential to be impacted by Hurricane Matthew this weekend,” Southeastern Conference associate commissioner Herb Vincent said in an email Tuesday.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, officials were still in watch mode only.
Torrential rains and flooding in and around Columbia, South Carolina, last year moved the LSU-South Carolina game from Columbia to Baton Rouge on October 10. That decision was made on the Wednesday before that game won by LSU, 45-24.
LSU’s game against Arizona State in 2005, which was Miles’ debut as the Tigers’ coach, was moved from Baton Rouge to Tempe, Arizona, because of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on south Louisiana. And the Tigers’ home game against Tennessee that season was postponed from Saturday, September 24, to Monday, September 26 as Hurricane Rita hit the Texas-Louisiana line on September 24. Miles got used to storms quick.
LSU’s season opener against Appalachian State on was moved up to a 10 a.m. start on August 30, 2008, to ease evacuation traffic for Hurricane Gustav that hit Cocodrie below Houma on September 1.