What Arkansas State loses by losing Miami
With Hurricane Irma and it’s 185 MPH winds bearing down on Florida, the Miami Hurricanes (no relation) made an executive decision to cancel its Week 2 tilt at Arkansas State.
The impact of a college football game versus the impact of what many are calling the “most powerful hurricane ever recorded in human history” simply isn’t comparable. When University of Miami Athletic Director Blake James announced that the Hurricanes would, for the sake of safety, not travel to Jonesboro to fulfill its contractual obligation with Arkansas State, it was an understandable decision.
Here’s what James had to say about the cancellation during an interview with a local radio show:
“(A-State Athletic Director Terry Mohajir) was willing to be very accommodating. He’s obviously frustrated and disappointed … Miami coming to Jonesboro is probably as big a game as they have.”
He’s right: Mohajir was very accommodating. In a press release launched within hours of the cancellation, Mohajir stated:
Over the past 24 hours I had numerous exchanges with University of Miami Athletics Director Blake James, offering to make additional accommodations for his players and program to assist them with their trip to Memphis and Jonesboro.
Reportedly, Arkansas State suggested moving the game to Friday and even paying for the team’s airfare to Memphis, but nope. Meanwhile, the remainder of Florida programs seem determined to keep their schedules intact:
Listen, every one of these games could get canceled and there are good arguments that they should be canceled. Still, every effort is being made to play these other games…
But that’s beside the point. Miami said “nope” and that’s that. Will they claim “act of God” and bail on the buyout? Will they work with Mohajir to schedule a make-up? Who knows? We do know Hurricane Irma will have an effect on Jonesboro and Arkansas State as well.
1. The chances of landing on the Top 25 is now near zero
Now that the Red Wolves have been denied a chance to defeat the nation’s 16th ranked program, the opportunity to build a Top 25 resume and compete for a New Year’s Bowl has all but vanished. Unless SMU is much better than anticipated, the Red Wolves’ ranking will rely on its performance in the Sun Belt alone, which rarely moves the needle.
2. The Jonesboro economy just took a hit
This was a date circled by more than just players and fans. Jonesboro business leaders were likely expecting a boost in revenue this Saturday. Now they get nothing.
3. Blake Anderson loses a signature moment
The performance against Nebraska seemed to suggest that Anderson’s more hands-on approach to the offense was paying dividends. Arkansas State piled up 497 yards of offense on Nebraska, and it would have been interesting to see what plan Anderson had for Miami at home. A win would have cemented Anderson’s legacy at A-State and opened doors to his future. A forfeit does nothing.
4. A sold out stadium wasted
Fan were absolutely pumped for this game. And they waited a long time for it to arrive.
It wasn’t just that Miami is a marquee opponent. There’s a real feeling that this Red Wolves team has a special quality to it. As a result, Centennial Bank Stadium was expecting a sold out (or nearly sold out) crowd, a significant feat with a certain school in western Arkansas playing at the exact same time. Now, the stadium is empty on Saturday.
A former notary public, Jeremy Harper is a professional writer and Chief Instigator for Storm the Castle Creative. He spends much of his free time staring blankly into space.