-- Louisiana State already saw one hurricane disrupt its schedule this month, but now another has forced the Tigers' home opener Saturday night against Tennessee to be moved to Monday.
The Southeastern Conference announced the decision Thursday after a conference call with officials from both schools. The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. Monday and be televised on ESPN2.
"After reviewing all of the information, I felt this was the best decision for the game," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. "The safety of our student-athletes, coaches and fans is our priority. I understand this puts a burden on LSU and its administration, however, the travel safety issues necessitate this decision."
Hurricane Rita, a storm in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to make landfall in eastern Texas sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning. There were virtually no hotel rooms available in the southern half of Louisiana because they were taken up by those displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Katrina prompted LSU's season-opening home game against North Texas to be postponed. The Tigers' game against Arizona State on Sept. 10 was moved from Tiger Stadium to Tempe, Ariz.
Fans and those within LSU's athletic department have been calling the game against Tennessee the most highly anticipated home opener in decades because of the circumstances.
LSU players had spent much of the past three weeks helping displaced victims on campus who had been treated at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Players believe they are playing for the entire state of Louisiana.