West Virginia’s move to the Big 12 Conference this fall is affecting U.N.I.’s 2012 football schedule. In mid-December, the Panthers released their 11-game slate that included Savannah State for their September 8th home-opener. However, Florida State announced this week that the Seminoles will be hosting Savannah State on that date to replace West Virginia on their non-conference schedule.

U.N.I. Athletic Director Troy Dannen, who says Savannah State’s decision to travel to Tallahassee instead of Cedar Falls was a surprise to him as Savanah State had not talked to them about it. The change has put U.N.I. in a frantic search to find a replacement for the Tigers.

Dannen says it’s tough to find a Division one opponent to come to their place and play, but they will continue looking.

Savannah State was to be the only non-conference opponent the Panthers were to play at the UNI-Dome this season. Of U.N.I.’s 10 remaining games, six will be on the road — including a September 1st season-opener at Wisconsin and a September 15th trip to play Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.

By Elwin Huffman KOEL Oelwein