News broke this afternoon that the Houston Cougars and UTSA Roadrunners will no longer be meeting on the gridiron this Saturday. With the Houston area ravaged by historic flooding, administrators felt it was best for the players not to take to the field this weekend.
BREAKING: Houston's season opener Saturday at UTSA has been postponed. New date to be determined.— Joseph Duarte (@Joseph_Duarte) August 29, 2017
While the Cougars and their families have all been safely accounted for, the program elected not to force their players to play through so much emotional strife.
The Cougars had been preparing for the game with assistance from the Texas Longhorns by utilizing their practice spaces in Austin. In all likelihood the program will likely continue their residence in Austin for several more days as roads in Houston are still too flooded to ensure safe travel back to campus.
As the two programs do not share an open bye week, it will not be an easy task to arrange a postponement date for the teams to meet later on in the season. The only clear option for reschedule would require help from other universities.
UTSA and UAB both have their bye weeks scheduled for the weekend of September 30th. If UAB is willing, their game against UTSA could be moved to that weekend which would allow the Roadrunners to share an open weekend with Houston. The clear downside to this is that both UH and UTSA would be forced to play at least 11 straight weeks of football without a bye.
Alternatively, the game could be canceled outright and both programs could seek waivers from the NCAA to permit their bowl eligibility to be ratified with just five wins instead of the customary six.
Even more creative solutions include finding lower division programs to schedule during a bye week. South Alabama was able to do this last season. The NCAA allowed them to reach bowl eligibility despite two of their six wins coming against FCS programs.
While the Cougars will not be playing this Saturday, all other Houston area programs will be in action. Houston Baptist will travel to San Marcos to face Texas State on Sunday while Lamar will travel to Denton to face North Texas.
UTSA will turn their preparation to Baylor as the Roadrunners travel to Waco for a prime chance to earn their first ever victory over a Power Five program. If Houston continues with their schedule as currently planned they will travel to Tucson to face Arizona on September 9th.