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Rain or shine, college and NFL games still on despite Hurricane Joaquin

This satellite image taken Friday morning shows Hurricane Joaquin, bottom center, pounding the Bahamas and a deepening low pressure system on the U.S. East Coast.

This satellite image taken Friday morning shows Hurricane Joaquin, bottom center, pounding the Bahamas and a deepening low pressure system on the U.S. East Coast.

(Associated Press)

Hurricane Joaquin will not stop college football or NFL games from taking place this weekend.

Joaquin landed in the Bahamas on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane -- Category 5 is the most dangerous -- with winds between 130 and 156 miles per hour and heavy rain. The hurricane is not expected to hit the East Coast, according to the latest National Weather Service forecasts, though that could change.

Michigan’s Big Ten Conference game against Maryland on Saturday at was moved up to a 9 a.m. PDT start from 5 p.m. at Bryd Stadium in an effort to get ahead of the inclement weather in College Park, Md.

The temperature is forecast to peak at 58 degrees Saturday with rain showers expected most of the day and winds around 15 mph with gusts over 40 mph.

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“Our collective decision in working with the University of Michigan and the Big Ten Conference was to kick off as early as possible because of the unpredictable nature of Hurricane Joaquin,” Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said. “In addition, those participating, working and attending the game would not have to travel in the evening in potentially dangerous conditions.”

The Big Ten Network scrapped plans to broadcast its pregame show from College Park, citing Hurricane Joaquin.

ESPN, however, will still go through with its plans to broadcast “College Gameday” from Clemson, S.C., ahead of the No. 12 Tigers’ matchup with No. 6 Notre Dame, which is still scheduled to be played at 5 p.m. despite reported power outages around the campus.

There are several other game sites that are expecting rain and wind because of Joaquin, but they have not made any changes to their schedules.

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The Philadelphia Eagles will also go ahead with their game Sunday against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Greater Landover, Md.

“The [Maryland] governor’s office has assured us that based on the current forecast playing the game would have no adverse effect on public safety,” the NFL said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the storm, stay in contact with the governor’s office and other public authorities, and be prepared to adjust the schedule if necessary should the forecast change.”

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme


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