By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Joe Alleva has drawn his line in the sand.
With rampant speculation coming from every corner of the Southeastern Conference footprint, LSU’s athletic director stepped to the podium Monday to make a few points perfectly clear about rescheduling this past weekend’s postponed game with Florida.
First and foremost, Alleva said repeatedly, LSU will be playing a home game on Nov. 19, the oft-rumored date for a possible rescheduling.
“One thing we’re going to hold very firm on is we’ve got a home game on Nov. 19 and we’re going to have a home game on Nov. 19,” Alleva said.
The AD repeated that sentiment, enunciating each word slowly: “We are going to have a home game on Nov. 19. We are not going to change that situation.”
LSU is currently scheduled to host South Alabama on that date while Florida would play at home against Presbyterian. It’d cost LSU $1.5 million to buyout South Alabama, a figure dwarfed by the losses both the school and Baton Rouge business would lose from game day revenue.
Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey appeared across multiple broadcast platforms over the weekend expressing the need for the SEC “to come together” to get the LSU/Florida game played.
Alleva, who spoke to Sankey over the weekend, returned the favor by laying out some suggestions and guidelines for how the game will be rescheduled — if it is at all.
“It’s a very tough situation to reschedule this game,” Alleva said. “We’ll have to see how it shakes out down the road.”
One option, Alleva said, would be to play Florida in The Swamp during LSU’s bye week on Oct. 29. It’d require the league to move the annual Georgia-Florida game already on tap for that day. Alleva attached a caveat of his own.
“We have an open date before the Alabama game,” Alleva said. “I’m not in favor of playing a game on that date unless Alabama also plays a game on that day.”
Another option would be to push the SEC Championship Game back a week and have LSU play Florida on Dec. 3, which would leave the remainder of the regular season schedule unchanged. However, Alleva added he wasn’t even sure if that’d be plausible considering television and venue contracts.
“I’ll just go back to what I said,” Alleva began, “that it’ll be very difficult to reschedule this game.”