BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU and Florida will not be playing in The Swamp on Nov. 19, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva made quite clear Monday afternoon.
“What I said the other day about this being very difficult to reschedule is still true,” Alleva said. “One thing we are going to hold very firm on is that we have a home game on Nov. 19. And we’re going to have a home game on Nov. 19.”
Then, just in case no one was paying attention, Alleva slowed down and spelled it out for effect.
“We. Are going. To have. A home game on Nov. 19. We are not going to change that situation.”
Could there be a scenario where that game is against Florida rather than South Alabama? It does seem like a reasonable compromise for the Gators to come to Baton Rouge this year in return for getting to host LSU the next two seasons. But apparently that option has not yet been placed on the table.
“That has not been discussed,” Alleva said.
Alleva also is against playing the Gators on Oct. 29 unless Alabama also plays a game the week before its showdown with the Tigers, which seems exceedingly unlikely.
“I’m not in favor of playing a game on that day unless Alabama also plays on that day,” Alleva said.
The scheduled day of the SEC Championship Game has also been floated as a possibility.
“There’s an option of Dec. 3, but I don’t know if that’s going to be an option because there is TV contracts and (Georgia) Dome contracts,” Alleva said. “I think it’s going to be very difficult to reschedule that game.”
When asked if his insistence on playing at home was about the money, Alleva bristled.
“It’s not about that,” he said. “Our fans and our city deserve a home game on that day. We’re not going to give up a home game.”
Should the doomsday scenario occur — Florida and LSU both beating the odds and winning out in conference play, potentially making the Gators the East champs and preventing the Tigers from winning the West — Alleva suggested that a team’s record in divisional play should be used as a tiebreaker. (Such a tiebreaker would benefit Tennessee, which lost to Texas A&M and has Alabama looming.)
“There hasn’t been any dialogue. That’s just me talking,” Alleva made clear. “There’s been no discussion at all about it.”
Though Alleva’s unscheduled press conference was meant to provide clarity, at this point only one thing is — the controversy over LSU and Florida playing isn’t quelling down any time soon.