The Nebraska athletic department has issued a statement from athletic director Bill Moos about the cancelled Akron game:
“Everyone associated with last night’s season opener is disappointed that the weather did not cooperate, and we were unable toplay the game. We were dealing with a fluid situation, and at all times we were operating with public safety as our number one concern.
”During the delay, there were numerous scenarios discussed for contingency plans for playing the game, including a scenario to playthe game on Sunday. Unfortunately, Akron faced some logistical challenges and the decision was made to cancel the game.
“Regarding any potential additions or adjustments to the 2018 football schedule, we will explore and discuss those options in the coming weeks. In the meantime, fans are encouraged to hold onto their tickets from last night’s game in the event a game were tobe added later in the season.
“At this point, everyone’s focus and attention has moved onto preparation for opening our season against Colorado on Saturday afternoon.”
Bob Burton, Nebraska’s deputy athletic director, said Sunday afternoon that Nebraska thought they could get the game in around the main storm that rolled in around 9 pm, but the storms that developed in front of and behind that squall made the situation too difficult.
At this point, the matter of the $1.17 million payment to Akron in the game contract is unresolved. "To be determined," Burton said.— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) September 2, 2018
Just talked to Nebraska deputy AD Bob Burton. NU did not discuss, prior to Saturday, moving up the game.— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) September 2, 2018
On Saturday, they thought weather reports gave them a 3-hour window of sorts. A kickoff that would have started at 7, interrupted by the 8:30 storm, resuming around 9:45.
Why 10:30 am? Fox said they could find space on FS1 to show the game if it started before 11 am.
Nebraska then looked at trying to play a game Sunday morning between 10 and 3. Fox informed NU if the game started before 11 CST, they could get it on FS1. Moos presented that plan to Akron AD Larry Williams and Akron said no.— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) September 2, 2018
It’s pretty easy to see why Akron said no to this idea. Nebraska players could go back to their dorms and apartments for the night. Where would Akron’s players go? Keep in mind that Husker fans have every hotel in Lincoln booked on football weekends. How would they get eight hours of sleep, fed and back to the stadium in time to prepare for a game at 10:30 am?
Frankly, it’s a simple situation that really makes you wonder why the game wasn’t called at 8:30 pm instead of 10 pm.
To me, the big thing is that Nebraska clearly wants to play a 12th game and is trying to figure out how to do that. The only way that probably happens is if Nebraska doesn’t win the Big Ten’s west division, freeing up December 1st. Akron would probably be the opponent if the Zips don’t win their division in the MAC. Another possibility would be to schedule Iowa State, but the Cyclones also would like a home game for their revenue. Could Nebraska and Iowa State agree to play in Lincoln, and split the revenue 50/5?. (It would make more sense to play this game in Lincoln, as Nebraska can accomodate 25,000 more fans than Iowa State.)
Akron athletic director Larry Williams confirmed Sunday evening that hotel rooms were the issue.
Last night during the lightning delay, The University of Akron tried to secure accommodations for the team within a reasonable distance from Lincoln, Neb. These accommodations were not available or would have required our team to stay in multiple locations which is not in the best interests of our team and student-athletes.
Also, thunderstorms were anticipated throughout the Lincoln area on Sunday, making even the opportunity to play very questionable.
The University of Akron and The University of Nebraska are in discussions to make up the game in Week 14 of the college football season should either team need the game to become bowl eligible.
The announcement of the potential of playing the game on Sunday was unfortunate, but premature, as both teams and Fox had not agreed to the details of playing the game.
Akron seems to be hedging their bets on playing this game, but I suspect, in the end, it happens.