It's looking more and more like this year's edition of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party will be affected in some material way by Hurricane Sandy. It's unusual for a tropical system to be out there this late in the year, but hurricane season isn't officially over yet.
As of right now, it appears it's going to be more of a wind event than a rain event. The forecast as of posting is just 30% rain but a wind of 19 miles per hour. The city of Jacksonville has advised tailgaters not to use canopies or tents, and the coaches have already been asked numerous questions about how wind might affect the game. Let's see, can I find a completely unfair quote that might be funny out of context? Sure:
"I mean, that’s a lot of wind," Richt said.
Done. After all, the coaches aren't really saying anything you wouldn't expect out of them. All of their quotes boil down to this: the wind has an effect on balls that are in the air. The only real bit of substance is Aaron Murray saying he throws the ball better in the wind than the rain.
If the wind is as bad as predicted, it bodes well for Florida. Georgia hasn't been running the ball well lately, with it needing Murray's arm to do all the heavy lifting against Kentucky. Jeff Driskel doesn't throw very often, and some of his longest passing plays were really short throws with long runs. Florida is built to run the ball, and running backs aren't often bothered by winds.
Whatever the conditions are this Saturday, they won't be nearly as bad as what the folks up north are projected to get. The hurricane is expected to combine with a winter storm to make what NOAA called a "Frankenstorm" that could cause up to $1 billion in damage. Hopefully it won't be that bad, but I'll take a little wind over that any day.