Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football: LSU-Florida Rescheduling Plot Thickens

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football: LSU-Florida Rescheduling Plot Thickens

Article excerpt

The LSU-Florida plot thickens

Louisiana State won't give up a home contest to make up a game at Florida that was postponed last week because of Hurricane Matthew, athletics director Joe Alleva said Monday. That further minimizes the possibility that the traditional rivalry game will be played this season.

"We're going to have a home game on Nov. 19," he said. "We're not going to change."

His stance leaves open the possibility of LSU hosting No. 18 Florida on that date and buying out the Tigers' scheduled foe, South Alabama should the Gators be willing to play in Baton Rouge that day and buy out their own scheduled guest, Presbyterian.

There do not appear to be many other options.

LSU is free on Oct. 29, a week before hosting No. 1 Alabama, which also has off the weekend of Oct. 29. The Tigers could travel to Gainesville that weekend, but Alleva asserted, "I'm not in favor of playing a game on that day unless Alabama also plays" then.

And even if LSU was willing to play at Florida on Oct. 29, that would require Florida and Georgia to shuffle their rivalry game from Oct. 29 to another day, such as Oct. 22, when both are off. But Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity said, "It's impractical and I don't think it's an option whatsoever."

If the LSU-Florida game isn't made up, the schools will play only seven Southeastern Conference games rather than the usual eight. The SEC might have to decide division winners based on conference winning percentages. That could favor Florida, which could win the East at 6-1 despite losing to Tennessee, which could finish 6-2.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey reiterated that he wants administrators from LSU and Florida to reschedule the game.

By contrast, South Carolina and Georgia agreed to delay their game to Sunday.

There has been talk that Florida stonewalled not only because of the possible standings advantage but because several key players are banged up and it wanted to get them extra rest. Florida coach Jim McElwain expressed disgust and disbelief that anyone would think his team tried to dodge LSU.

"Nineteen deaths, 2.5 million people without power, families in dire needs," McElwain said. "Obviously, they don't know me. They don't know the Florida Gators."

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