LSU AD doubts game vs. Florida will be made up
The LSU-Florida game postponed indefinitely due to Hurricane Matthew may not ever be played.
At least, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva has his doubts.
"It's going to be very difficult," Alleva said Friday morning on ESPN 104.5 FM in Baton Rouge. "That's all I'm going to say about it right now, but the scenarios that I see down the road would require some serious changing of schedules."
The Southeastern Conference on Thursday postponed the game between LSU and No. 18 Florida scheduled for Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. The SEC and the schools will attempt to reschedule the game for later this season if possible.
Prior to the postponement announcement, the schools and the conference considered playing the game at another location. LSU (3-2, 2-1 SEC) offered to host the game and also was willing to play at an alternate site.
Florida (4-1, 2-1) had hoped to play the game at home but athletic director Jeremy Foley said the ultimate decision to postpone the game was the correct one.
If the game is not played later, LSU and Florida will finish the season with one fewer SEC game than the conference's other teams. The SEC's divisional tiebreakers are based on winning percentage in conference games.
"I think it's going to have to be a topic of discussion for sure as we go through the rest of the season. No doubt," Alleva said Friday. "It's based on winning percentage and then head-to-head competition, so yeah I think that winning percentage is something that's going to have to be discussed."
Both teams play nonconference games on Nov. 19. The Gators are amenable to paying $500,000 to Presbyterian to skip their scheduled game at Florida that day, but the Tigers would not give up their home date against South Alabama, which is guaranteed for $1.5 million for the contest, ESPN reported.
Alleva called claims that Florida offered the Nov. 19 date for a possible makeup during negotiations "a flat-out lie."
Alleva said LSU offered multiple options to the SEC and Florida -- playing in Baton Rouge, at a neutral site and even for the Tigers to fly into Gainesville on Sunday and out that night after the game.
"We were willing to play anywhere that we needed to play," Alleva said. "At the end of the day we had to respect the commissioner's decision and Florida's concern for safety. Having been through hurricanes, we all know that safety's always going to be the No. 1 issue."