UF-LSU to be played in Baton Rouge on 11/19
Published on Thursday, 10/13/16, at 6:28 p.m. Eastern.
Hell, LSU should just get to play all of its games at home. For a second straight season, it is getting an extra one at Tiger Stadium.
On Thursday afternoon, the SEC announced that Florida will play at LSU on Nov. 19.
“As I have repeatedly said, this game needs to be played,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “It was important for us to come to a resolution. Each university had its own set of concerns throughout this process.”
“We made this decision to play the game in Baton Rouge,” UF athletic director Jeremy Foley said. “The conference office asked us to find a solution in working with LSU, yet LSU was never a true partner in our discussions. The Southeastern Conference offered some other solutions and the LSU administration made it clear that they were unwilling to consider other reasonable options.”
Foley clearly isn’t happy with LSU AD Joe Alleva, nor should he be after Alleva pressed a ridiculous narrative that this entire ordeal should be blamed on Florida. Foley is scheduled to meet with the media in Gainesville at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, and I would suspect that this will be aired live on the SEC Network.
There are 52 players on the UF roster whose families were in the “pink region,” the area on the map that was projected to take a direct hit from a Category 4 hurricane, according to the forecast last Thursday when the game was postponed. If the game had been played last week, LSU would’ve been without star RB Leonard Fournette and a pair of starting offensive linemen.
And the game would’ve been at The Swamp in Gainesville!
Nevertheless, a narrative from the Louisiana swamps to the Tennessee hills developed last week and continued into today, one that implied the Gators purposely tried to get out of the game for their own benefit. Any such notion was false on every conceivable level.
In this scenario, Florida loses two home games this year to LSU and Presbyterian, which will be paid a $500,000 buyout. LSU will come to The Swamp in 2017 and 2018. Like Texas A&M last year and Notre Dame this season, the Gators will only have three true road assignments in 2017.
The Nov. 19 game in Baton Rouge will start no later than 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
“As I’ve said all along — we will play anyone, anywhere, anytime,” said UF coach Jim McElwain. “I think I’ve made that pretty clear. The Gators never run from anyone or dodge anyone.”
Florida and LSU are each others’ annual game from the opposite division, but it’s always been a healthy rivalry. In other words, each school reserves most of its respective vitriol for other rivals.
Don’t expect that to be the case moving forward, however. Alleva and the fan bases at LSU and Tennessee have spent the last seven days throwing darts at the University of Florida.
Make no mistake, the Gators aren’t happy about it. And the Florida-LSU rivalry will never be the same.