AAC reworks football schedule in wake of Hurricane Irma

Sep 14, 2017 - 6:54 PM STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The American Athletic Conference has juggled its football schedule to make up a game between South Florida and UConn, which was canceled as a result of Hurricane Irma. That game, originally scheduled for last Saturday, will now be played in Connecticut on Nov. 4, the conference said Thursday. The schedules of three other AAC teams also had to be adjusted to allow for that change. "This was not an easy process, but we feel that this revised schedule is a significant step toward giving us the best opportunity to decide our champion on the field," said Mike Aresco, the conference's commissioner. East Carolina's game at UConn, which had originally been scheduled for Nov. 4, will now be played in East Hartford on Sunday, Sept. 24, which had been an open weekend for both teams. The teams can't play that Saturday, because an MLS soccer game is being played at Rentschler Field. ECU and Houston will play Nov. 4 instead of Oct. 28. USF will now host Cincinnati on Oct. 14 instead of playing a non-conference game with Massachusetts and will play Houston on Oct. 28. Cincinnati and East Carolina now will have open dates on Oct. 28. UConn Athletic Director David Benedict said he is grateful to the conference and the other schools for being so flexible. He said not playing USF would have meant a loss of about $650,000 in gross revenue to UConn. He noted East Carolina agreed not only to change its bye week, but to play on a Sunday, giving the school less time to prepare for its next game. "I hand it to the conference, because they could have shelved this," he said. "They could have said, 'Hey, look, we tried a lot of different ways and it just hasn't worked.' But to go to the extent they have, really says a lot." Benedict said the school will find a way to "make it right" for season ticket holders who may now be unable to use all of their tickets because of the schedule shift. AAC officials said the conference is still trying to reschedule a cancelled game between Memphis and UCF. UMass said it has agreed to play at Florida International on Dec. 2 to make up for the lost game with USF. FIU decided to cancel this week's game rather than try to travel to Indiana in the aftermath of the storm. The game with UMass will give both teams 12 games this season. The UMass-FIU game would not be played if FIU qualifies for the Conference USA championship game, which is also scheduled for Dec 2. __ For more AP college football coverage: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://twiter.com/AP_Top25

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