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Vandals, Florida mull rescheduling options

They couldn't get the game played on Saturday night, which immediately raised questions whether it will get played at all. But an announcement on whether Idaho and Florida will reschedule the 2014 season opener that was first declared "terminated" and then simply "suspended" due to lightning and unplayable field conditions could come today.

For more on the Vandals and their scheduling dilemma, click on the link. 


-- Idaho athletic director Rob Spear sketches some of the challenges the Vandals and Gators face in trying to reach an agreement. 

-- Head coach Paul Petrino told reporters on the weekly Sun Belt Conference call that a similar weather delay played a little havoc with Louisville's 2003 season opener against Kentucky when he was on the Cardinals' staff "but we got to play the game."

-- "Guys were all excited and ready to play the first game," Petrino said. "Now we'll be excited for the conference opener at (Louisiana) Monroe."

-- Back in the Sun Belt after a 10-year absence, the Vandals will do more than their share of traveling, with other non-confernece trips to Western Michigan and San DIego State thrown in. If the Florida game is rescheduled, that's another cross-country flight. "It probably would take a little bit out of us," Petrino admitted. "But we talked all summer about how we're going to travel a long way for a lot of games and we have to make it an advantage -- get some homework done, study our opponents and things we're going to do. We can use it to get better in football and school -- and try not to worry so much."

-- More Petrino: "They say you make your biggest improvement between Game 1 and 2. W'ere just going to have to make it between canceled Game 1 and 2."

-- If both teams balk at resuming the game on their common open date of Oct. 25 -- which seems to be their stand at the moment -- and can't make a December date work, it's likely the game would be canceled. At which point the discussion shifts to the $975,000 guarantee the Vandals were to receive. However, there is another scenario -- although it would involve making a third school party to the transaction. 

Idaho's other open date is Nov. 22, the next-to-last week of its regular season, when the Gators play host to Eastern Kentucky in another nonconference game. EKU and Florida, meanwhile, also share an open date: Sept. 27. If they'd be willing to move their November game up two months, the Vandals and Gators could meet on Nov. 22. Idaho then wouldn't have an 11-week stretch without a bye and Florida would retain the extra week of preparation for its Nov. 1 showdown with rival Georgia. 

Alas, it would leave Eastern Kentucky with 13 straight games without a bye. Wonder if the Colonels would be willing to endure that for a price? 

John Blanchette
John Blanchette is a freelance columnist who writes about local sports issues.

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