Hurricane Harvey’s destruction is influencing Week 1 of the 2017 college football schedule, as well as extreme heat and wildfires out West. Check out significant weather patterns affecting this weekend’s games here.
Hurricane Harvey continues to dump rain on parts of the South after making landfall nearly a week ago in Texas. The historic devastation caused several changes to the college football schedule, including the postponement of the Texas-San Antonio-Houston opener. “We felt like it wasn't the right thing to do in terms of where our city is,” Houston coach Major Applewhite told reporters on Tuesday. “Sports are important and sports are fun and its entertainment, but with casualties in our city, and the state of mind of our players and our players' families, it's not the right thing to do, to play a game.”
The BYU vs. No. 13 LSU feature, originally scheduled to kickoff at NRG Stadium in Houston, moved to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans due to the storm’s devastation. The Tigers were 12.5-point favorites a week ago, but jumped to as high as -15.5 with the move closer to Baton Rouge. The premiere matchup is one of four scheduled in weather-controlled stadiums this weekend. No. 1 Alabama takes on. No. 3 Florida State at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, followed up by an encore matchup between No. 25 Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech on Monday. No. 11 Michigan and No. 17 Florida, meanwhile, tussle at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Here’s a look at a few games and geographical areas that may be affected by the elements:
Akron vs. No. 6 Penn State
Line: Nittany Lions -30.5
It’s rare to see an over-under exceed the air temperature in Week 1 of the college football season, but that will be the case at Beaver Stadium when Akron takes on heavy favorites Penn State. It will feel like autumn in Happy Valley as game time temperatures will hover in the mid-50s. The total is set at 66 on Friday, up significantly from a 63.5 opener. The forecast also call for light rain and drizzle with 5-10 mph winds. Consider the possibility for slippery conditions. This is an early dose of “football weather.”
Western Michigan vs. No. 4 USC
Line: Trojans -28
As if the task for new Western Michigan head coach Tim Lester could get any tougher with a debut at USC, consider the weather conditions in Los Angeles on Saturday. A massive heat wave is settled over much of the western U.S., causing extreme temperatures. The air temperature for the 2:15 p.m. kickoff is expected to top 97 degrees, which will feel like 100-105 with dew points factored. The field temperature will climb even higher. For what it’s worth, the average temperature in Kalamazoo this time of year is 68 degrees with lows dipping into the 40s. And people move to southern Cali for the Mediterranean climate, ha!
This is just the 10th time in the last 25 years the Broncos will go off an underdog of 4 touchdowns or more. They are 0-10 SU, but 9-1 ATS in the prior contests. The Trojans have covered their last five straight at home when laying 20 points or more.
Smokey Conditions For Oregon & Oregon State
The western heat wave is helping fuel unhealthy air quality and wildfires burning in Oregon. Officials are rescheduling some high school and FCS games due to hazardous breathing conditions with a smokey haze settling over much of the state. All systems are go for Portland State at Oregon State and Southern Utah at Oregon. Officials are increasing the number of emergency staff and stocking water coolers and ice towels around the stadium. If either contest becomes a blowout, it would not shock to see coaches pull their foot off the gas early with the difficult breathing conditions. Be leery if wagering.
Rain in the Carolinas?
Overall, heavy wind and rain will miss much of the Week 1 contest with only a hand full of games seeing 10-15 mph max with a chance of thunderstorms. Passers and kickers should have few excuses. Still, there might be slippery conditions in the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic. The highest profile games in these areas include California at UNC and a neutral-field encounter between South Carolina and N.C. State at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Keep close tabs on the forecast in the hours leading up to these contests.