Hurricane means Texas and Arkansas will play Sept. 27

Updated: September 13, 2008, 11:30 AM ET
By Tim Griffin | ESPN.com

Texas officials have decided to postpone the No. 8-ranked Longhorns' football game against Arkansas because of Hurricane Ike.

The game, which was scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Austin, will be played Sept. 27. The time of kickoff will be announced at a later date. Both teams have open dates that weekend.

"We have been monitoring this situation since Sunday and, at this time, feel confident this is the right thing to do," Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said. "A football game becomes less important when you are dealing with the safety of the people at Texas."

One particular item of concern would have been packing more than 90,000 fans into Darrell K. Royal/Texas Memorial Stadium as evacuees would be leaving the area because of the storm. Texas Department of Transportation officials announced Wednesday they will make traffic one-way along Interstate 37 from Corpus Christi to Pleasanton, about 20 miles south of San Antonio, beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday to help speed the flow of people leaving the storm's projected landfall area.

•  Defending Division II national champion Valdosta State's game at Southern Arkansas on Saturday night was postponed because of uncertain weather conditions surrounding Hurricane Ike.

•  McNeese State canceled Saturday's home football game against Cal Poly because of Hurricane Ike's potential effects on Lake Charles in Louisiana.

The university, situated between Galveston, Texas, and New Orleans, is scheduled to close Thursday at noon, and Calcasieu Parish has called an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, starting Friday.

McNeese athletic director Tommy McClelland said the school will work on plans to bring Cal Poly to Lake Charles in the future. McNeese State is next scheduled to play Cal Poly in California in 2010.

•  Oklahoma State announced that Saturday's home football game against Missouri State would kick off at 1:05 p.m. ET, six hours earlier than originally scheduled. The Stillwater area was already under a flash flood watch from a weather system unrelated to the hurricane, and officials hoped the later kickoff time would make travel to and from the game safer.

The Austin American-Statesman reported more than a dozen high school football games in its circulation area have been moved to Thursday night.

Although Texas and Arkansas have Sept. 27 off, the date still could be problematic for Texas. It's the same weekend as the Austin City Limits Music Festival, which annually brings thousands of people to the Austin area.

Hotel rooms are difficult to find throughout central Texas during that weekend. It might be difficult to accommodate the Arkansas team party -- much less fans of both schools -- because of the festival.

And it would also make for a tough stretch for the Longhorns, who start the Big 12 schedule the following week. Texas' Big 12 schedule begins with games against Colorado (in Boulder), Oklahoma (in Dallas), Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech (in Lubbock) in the first five weeks.

Arkansas will also find its schedule more challenging now. The Razorbacks had an open date between games against Alabama and Florida, but now must play the Longhorns in the middle of them.

Other games affected by Hurricane Ike:

• The Stanford-TCU game also has been moved up because of the storm. The game will be played at 1 p.m. ET in Forth Worth.

• Air Force's game against Houston has been moved to Gerald J. Ford Stadium at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. The game was moved from John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium in Houston.

• The Washington State-Baylor game has been moved up to Friday night in Waco. The game was originally scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Kickoff is now scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday night.

Tim Griffin covers college football for ESPN.com. You can contact him at espntimgriff@yahoo.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.