By Stewart Mandel, SI.com
It's Thursday night, and I'm just about to pack for my trip to Baton Rouge this weekend. I'm scheduled to fly to New Orleans on Friday for the Appalachian State-LSU game on Saturday.
But now I'm starting to wonder whether that's a safe idea - and whether there's even going to be a game.
The LSU athletic department has been deluging my inbox this week with memos regarding Saturday's Appalachian State game - and I'm not talking about the usual "Les Miles press conference quotes." I'm talking: "LSU Athletics Update on Gustav."
That's right: Another potentially major hurricane is headed toward the Bayou State.
As of now, Gustav is only a Tropical Storm, but the latest forecasts suggest that it will eventually become a Category 3 hurricane. The state of Louisiana has already declared a state of emergency and put the National Guard on standby. If the current forecast holds, landfall could hit New Orleans - still reeling three years after Hurricane Katrina - by Monday.
LSU is continuing to monitor the situation along with state officials. I've received an e-mail every day for the past three days reassuring me (and 90,000 other potential spectators) that the game will go on as scheduled. There's a potential problem, however: According to Gannett News Service, there's a possibility that an evacuation order for New Orleans could be ordered sometime Saturday, in which case an untold amount of traffic will be headed straight toward Baton Rouge at a time when nearly 100,000 people will already be driving into or out of Baton Rouge.
I'm excited to see Armanti Edwards and all -- but I'm not sure it's worth flying straight into the path of a hurricane. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the next 24 hours as well.