Clearly, Mother Nature has a heart. How else do you explain that thunderstorms forced the premature end of the carnage of Savannah State’s meeting with Florida State, a match up many believed should not have happened in the first place?
The Tigers from the quaint Georgia coastal town had to feel like a condemned prisoner receiving a reprieve. Florida State led 55-0 with still 8:59 left in the third quarter. Clearly, the Seminoles were on their way to covering the largest betting line in college football history, which at one point last week reached 70 ½ points.
But two long delays because of severe thunderstorms of 56 minutes and 40 minutes – and a forecast for more – forced officials to call the game, a reprieve of sorts for Savannah State.
Yes, the Tigers lost 55-0. But it could have been worse. It likely would have been worse.
Worse, even, than the 84-0 crushing Savannah State suffered last week at Oklahoma State. Why would the small school from the historically black college conference, the MEAC, endure such beatings?
It was paid $860,000, that’s why. That goes a long way toward meeting its $5.1 million athletic budget. So, from a Savannah State business perspective, the end justified the means.
“It would be really good for my perspective at Savannah if those two teams play for the national championship and you guys call me for my evaluation of the game because I’m the only one who has seen them both,” Savannah State coach Steve Davenport said. “But like I said before, it’s really a helpless feeling. Those two programs and those players are really, really tremendous players.
“We knew we were coming in a bit overmatched. Now we just hopefully got to get this thing turned around.”
But what about those who bet on the game? According to pregame.com, a sports gambling website, all wagers on the game will be refunded — college football bets aren’t official until 55 minutes have been played.
Before weather jumped in to save Savannah State, Florida State racked up 255 yards in the first quarter while the Tigers were minus-20 yards.
Florida State led 28-0 seven minutes into the game, 35-0 in the first quarter and 48-0 at halftime. The out-manned Tigers could do nothing to stop the No. 6 team in the country. But Mother Nature did.