NCAAF Teams
Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer 71d

AAC reshuffles schedules for 7 teams in wake of Hurricane Irma

College Football, South Florida Bulls, Connecticut Huskies, Cincinnati Bearcats, East Carolina Pirates, Houston Cougars

The South Florida-Connecticut game, rescheduled because of Hurricane Irma, will be played Nov. 4 as part of a scheduling makeover involving seven American Athletic Conference teams.

Originally set for Sept. 9, the USF-UConn game was called off so the Bulls' players and coaches could prepare for Hurricane Irma to pass through Tampa, Florida. As a result, the American on Thursday announced the new date for the game as well as adjustments for games involving Cincinnati, East Carolina, Houston, UCF and Memphis. 

UConn has moved its home game with East Carolina, originally scheduled for Nov. 4, to Sept. 24. The game will take place on a Sunday because Pratt & Whitney Stadium is unavailable on Sept. 23, Connecticut's original open date.

East Carolina's open date moves from Sept. 23 to Oct. 28, and the Pirates will now play at Houston on Nov. 4, the original date of their game with UConn.

South Florida will host Cincinnati on Oct. 14, when it had been scheduled to host nonconference foe Massachusetts, and will host Houston on Oct. 28, the original date of the Cincinnati game.

The South Florida-Massachusetts game will take place during the 2022 or 2023 season, on a yet-to-be-determined date. Massachusetts on Thursday announced it had reached an agreement in principle to play Florida International, another team impacted by Hurricane Irma, on Dec. 2 in Miami. The game would take place unless Florida International qualifies for the Conference USA championship game, also played Dec. 2.

Cincinnati's open date moves from Oct. 14 to Oct. 28. Houston had the dates of consecutive games with South Florida and East Carolina flipped, so the Cougars now face South Florida first.

"I would like to thank our presidents, athletic directors and our head football coaches for their outstanding collaboration and cooperation to resolve this unprecedented situation in as fair a manner as possible," AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. "I would also like to acknowledge and thank [athletic director] Ryan Bamford of UMass for his cooperation and understanding.

"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."

The AAC also has rescheduled the Memphis-UCF game for Sept. 30. That contest had been moved from Sept. 9 to Sept. 8 before being postponed because of the impending storm.

UCF coach Scott Frost had said earlier Thursday that he was disappointed that the game was called off after Memphis made the trip to Orlando, Florida, before returning home.

"We need to play Memphis," Frost said. "In my opinion we should have played them Friday night. They were in town, ready to play. People above me made the decision not to play that one. We were geared up and ready to play it."

Sources told ESPN's Andrea Adelson that Memphis' school president decided not to play the game after arriving at the airport in Orlando and hearing that Florida Gov. Rick Scott had closed all university campuses on Thursday night. The sources said the Tigers waited in the terminal while the decision was made and then got on the plane back to Memphis.

"[We] look forward to playing them if we get a chance," Frost said, before news of the new date was announced. "The priority for our conference ought to be on scheduling the conference games and getting those back. There will be a lot of problems down the road if we can't get the conference games rescheduled, so I think they're working on that and hopefully something gets done."

ESPN's Andrea Adelson contributed to this report.

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