College football games that take place in November are always subject to getting hit with nasty weather. This is especially true for games in the Big Ten, as mother nature always seems to have an impact on a few games as the calendar turns to the eleventh month of the year.
For proof of this, let’s head to East Lansing for Saturday’s matchup between the seventh-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions and the 24th-ranked Michigan State Spartans. It is nominally a rivalry game for arguably the silliest trophy in the sport, but bad weather was on the horizon and everyone was wondering how it would impact the game.
Things kicked off at noon and made it into the second quarter. Penn State had a 14-7 lead. But at around 1:15 p.m., the officials decided to call for a weather delay due to lightning in the area.
There were just under eight minutes left in the game when this was called, so there’s a lot of football that needs to be played. This is a problem for a few reasons, namely because other games are on the scheduled and because oh my god the rain is never ending.
I am writing this around 4 p.m., and the game is coming back around 4:38, meaning the delay will end up lasting more than three hours.
At one point, fans of the two teams were stressing out because the game was not scheduled to start back up until 5:30 p.m.
Further complicating measures, halftime was up in the air for a while. There will be a full halftime, but there is a casualty of the weather: Michigan State’s band was going to cover “Africa” by Toto.
The delay took so long that Penn State ordered a bunch of pizza for its players so they could have a bite to eat while they waited.
As for other games, the big loser here is the Washington State and Stanford showdown that includes a Heisman hopeful, Cardinal running back Bryce Love. It is scheduled to follow the Big Ten showdown, but instead, it’s getting put on Fox Business once the game comes back.
Fox is trying to make the best of a bad situation, but it still must be brutal that one of their marquee games is being pushed to their business channel. Also, if you’re Love or have money on him to win the Heisman Trophy, this must especially brutal because one of your marquee national games is getting moved to Fox Business because another game (featuring perceived Heisman Trophy leader Saquon Barkley, no less) is dealing with a rain storm.
This weekend in college football had the potential to be really weird, as a number of highly-ranked teams had tricky games against solid opponents. But in East Lansing, mother natured decided to step in and make the weekend a little weirder.