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.