ATHENS — Georgia and South Carolina will still play this weekend, it will just be on Sunday.
At least that’s what South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp announced near the end of his radio show on Thursday night.
He didn’t say a time, but someone familiar with the situation said 2:30 pm. was the most likely.
“We are working with the University of Georgia and the Southeastern Conference, the SEC Network for a kick time,” Muschamp said. “It will be definitely Sunday, sometime in the afternoon. They are not sure exactly what the kick time will be.”
The change comes because of Hurricane Matthew is now a Category 4 storm, barreling down the southern East Coast. President Obama has declared a state of emergency for the state of South Carolina, and the state’s governor Nikki Haley pleaded at a press conference Thursday afternoon for people to “please take this storm seriously.”
But even with another key SEC game – LSU at Florida – being called off, there was still no official resolution on Georgia-South Carolina.
“(We are) still in a holding pattern,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said on his radio show Thursday night, prior to Muschamp’s statemet. “Been a lot of conversations but nothing definitive.”
Speaking simultaneously on his radio show, Muschamp said they still planned on playing the game, they just didn’t know when. He returned to the subject later in the show for the Sunday announcement.
Georgia officials, other than Smart on his show, have remained silent. So has the SEC office, which earlier in the afternoon announced the postponement of the Florida-LSU game, scheduled for Saturday in Gainesville.
Adding to the intrigue, Smart did not show up for the start of his scheduled radio show at 7 p.m. He showed up about 20 minutes late.
The teams do not have a bye the same week the rest of the regular season, so that’s not an easy solution. They do each host non-conference teams on Nov. 22, the second-to-last weeks of the regular season. So hypothetically they could buy out their opponents (Louisiana-Lafayette in Georgia’s case and Western Carolina in South Carolina’s case) and move the game there.
But then Georgia would lose the economic benefit of a home game at Sanford Stadium, which in past years has also been valued at more than $2 million for the city of Athens.
Moving to a neutral site, such as the Georgia Dome, has been mentioned, but has been twice debunked by the Georgia Dome’s Twitter feed. Georgia State is scheduled to host Texas State at 3:30 pm. on Saturday at the dome.