Without a doubt, there were some pretty huge disappointments in the first week of the college football season. There was Penn State getting smacked by Temple, Arizona State laying a pretty huge egg against Texas A&M, and North Carolina handing the game to South Carolina with two huge turnovers in the end zone.
But nothing was more of a letdown than what happened Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
LSU was scheduled to take on McNeese State in a glorified scrimmage that would likely end in a 60-point victory for the Tigers, but a night of lousy weather changed the schedule. And after discussions with the visiting team, LSU decided to let the weather change the football team’s schedule for the entire 2015 season.
The game was canceled and won’t be made up. LSU will now play an 11-game schedule, and plans are being made to reimburse the fans for the money they spent to attend the rainout, according to ESPN.com.
For its troubles, McNeese State will get a $500,000 check, as was previously agreed upon.
Before I go any further, let me clarify that I have no problem with the decision to not play the game with storms in the area. That was the responsible decision, as there is never any reason to put 90,000 fans and 200 players and coaches in harm’s way.
My beef is with the decision to eliminate the game altogether. The LSU players have now lost a chance to get up to speed before going on the road next week to play Mississippi State. They host Auburn the week after that, too.
Additionally, those McNeese State kids won’t get the experience of playing in Death Valley. Sure, they were probably going to get crushed, but they would have had a lifetime memory either way. They would have never forgotten the time they played nationally-ranked LSU.
If you recall, I wrote about a similar situation a year ago, when Florida decided to cancel a game against Idaho when storms refused to yield. As Gridiron Now said, this should have been a sufficient warning to all SEC teams – and all teams in general – that they need to have a backup plan in case severe weather prevents a Saturday game from being played.
Clearly, LSU didn’t have one, and now, they’ve lost one of their seven home games in the 2015 season. A game that many fans spent hundreds of dollars on travel, lodging, tailgates and tickets.
The fans deserved better, and, frankly, college football deserves better. A multi-billion-dollar business can, and should, be able to develop a Plan B so games aren’t canceled. It’s time they finally put their heads together and came up with a solution.
Photo: AP/Jonathan Bachman