After spending two weeks preparing for a game that has now been postponed, Texas A&M has turned the page and its attention to Florida.
With the Aggies' new season opener scheduled for Sept. 8 at Kyle Field after the original opener against Louisiana Tech, scheduled for Thursday, was postponed to Oct. 13 because of Hurricane Isaac, they closed the book on the Bulldogs and began preparing on Wednesday for the Gators.
"Today we moved on, we moved on to Florida," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said Wednesday during the SEC coaches' weekly teleconference. "And I think that obviously, our preparation has changed with the postponement of the game and the move of the game back to Oct. 13. So for our guys, it was kind of a bittersweet kind of situation. Guys were ready to play somebody else, they were down a little bit (Tuesday), but as we talked to them about where we are right now, finishing up our preparation for Louisiana Tech yesterday and really moving on to Florida. That's where our focus is right now."
According to new Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman, who met with reporters at Reed Arena on Wednesday, moving the game to Oct. 13 -- which was each team's open date -- was not what either team wanted to do.
"There's a lot of things that we looked at, the possibilities," Hyman said. "Our least desirable [option] from the get-go, from their perspective and our perspective was playing the game on Oct. 13.
"We based the decision on the facts that we knew at that time. [Tuesday] morning, it looked good. And then it changed. What it is today? I don't know. We tried to do what was the right thing to do based on the facts we had at that point in time. We looked at a lot of different possibilities, a lot of different options and none of them came [to fruition]."
Sumlin said he could sense a little bit of a letdown with his team when they got the news on Tuesday.
"I could sense a little bit of letdown (Tuesday) at practice," Sumlin said. "As I told the coaches, just looking at the coaching staff yesterday, because of all the effort and time you put into something, you kind of build emotionally to play a game. And when you get within 24 hours of leaving to go to play a game, it's a little bit of a letdown.
"It's kind of like anything else, you say, 'Hey, that's over with. We'll put our files away and you guys go home tonight and get some sleep and come back tomorrow and get ready to get up for Florida, and we as coaches will move on.' So (Tuesday) was kind of a downer but we understand the situation. I think as we got in here to work today and started in on our preparation for Florida, I think the excitement will build up and our guys will be ready to go."
Hyman acknowledged that the schedule change, which gives both teams 12 games in 12 weeks, becomes more of a challenge for the football team. But he also tried to keep the bigger picture in mind.
"We're very sensitive to the lives of people and putting them in harm's way," Hyman said. "We've got to factor that into it. The decision was made based on, from what I was told, the (Louisiana Tech) president and the athletic director and they talked to the weather experts, the security people, the safety people, it was a consensus from everybody that this was the thing to do, to cancel the game. So I've got to be respectful of them. These are honorable people and I've got to respect what they say."
Hyman said the option of moving the game to College Station was considered but ultimately the decision remained with the home team, Louisiana Tech.
"I don't know that we would give up a home game," Hyman said. "If we had a hurricane here would we do that? Would we go and play in Shreveport? Probably not.
"I would have done the same thing here. I would have gotten the weather people, security people, every expert in the area and they're the experts. I couldn't live with myself if I end up doing something and it turned out to be a catastrophe. I can't do that. So I've got to look at what's in the best interests of our fans, our students and those kind of things. It is a football game, but I don't want to put people in harm's way. I wouldn't do it from a dollar standpoint, I'd do it from a safety standpoint. What's the right thing to do?"