Blog Entry

Lightning delays at Michigan, Notre Dame, Tenn.

Posted on: September 3, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 6:35 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi

In early Saturday action, lightning strikes forced a prolonged delay in Iowa's game against Tennessee Tech. That game ended up being delayed for about an hour and a half as the inclement weather passed through before Iowa finished its 34-7 victory.

The state of Iowa's not the only place with stormy weather in the Midwest today, and separate storms are forcing delays at two other storied stadiums. At approximately 5:20 ET, lightning forced a delay in South Bend as Notre Dame and South Florida were at halftime. South Florida led that game 16-0 at the break. A few minutes later, in Ann Arbor, officials suspended the Western Michigan-Michigan game as well, with Michigan ahead 20-7 at the half.

Action resumed at Michigan after the mandated 30 minutes, but that game would be suspended again after less than half an hour, when stronger storms moved into the area, and lightning began striking again. Officially, the Michigan game was re-suspended at 6:19, and it might not resume until well after 7:00.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame continues to be suspended, and that delay may be the longest of the day. At 6:10 local time, Notre Dame RapidReporter Mike Hutton reported that a stronger storm was due to hit the area in 15-30 minutes, and that a determination about the future of the game would be made during the storm. In other words, calling the game for the rest of the day is on the table, though obviously game officials want to avoid that fate at all reasonable costs. The Notre Dame delay should be considered indefinite.

Down in Knoxville, there's bad weather there too; Tennessee was set to face Montana at 7:07 eastern (6:07 local), but as of 6:24, there were storms with high winds and lightning in the area, and Neyland is currently under evacuation. There's no determination yet as to when that game will start, but "on time" is not an option here.

NCAA rules mandate that such suspensions last for half an hour after the last observed lightning strike in the area, so the time of a delay can rack up pretty quickly if the storms aren't moving fast or if multiple cells hit the area within a half-hour of each other.

All in all, that's four weather delays in four different states -- two of which (Iowa, Tennessee) don't even touch any of the other three states. Also, none of the delays are related to Tropical Storm Lee, which is making landfall in Louisiana today. Quite a day of weather.


Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: September 3, 2011 9:04 pm

Lightning delays at Michigan, Notre Dame, Tenn.

What's the phrase I'm trying to come up with? Oh yeah, The Pussification Of America.-by Ed Rendell

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: September 3, 2011 7:26 pm

Lightning delays at Michigan, Notre Dame, Tenn.

"Notre Dame will do anything to avoid losing to another Big East team.Why don't they schedule MEAC teams?"

What's wrong with you? Notre Dame has nothing to do with delaying their game. USF is a pretty solid opening game for the Irish.
Really annoyed by comments such as yours. 

Since: Apr 13, 2008
Posted on: September 3, 2011 6:56 pm

Lightning delays at Michigan, Notre Dame, Tenn.

Notre Dame will do anything to avoid losing to another Big East team.Why don't they schedule MEAC teams?

Since: Nov 17, 2008
Posted on: September 3, 2011 6:36 pm

Lightning delaying games at Michigan, Notre Dame

 I am all for safety but the Michigan rivalry  game ended for me after the 2nd delay. I can understand stopping for a few minutes but to stop for at least 1/2 hour after any lightning ruins the whole game. As kids we just played on and so few were hit by lightning it became a cliche.(What are the chances...)
  Michigan is a blowout and people are saying to end it but then they would lose the gamblers who are the only people still viewing. Not sure what the spread is  to betters it is always a close game. Seriously if you end it you might as well end any game when a team goes up by 21 points. This 30 minute rule from any lightning is bad enough to ruin this season.

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