BATON ROUGE - LSU athletic director Joe Alleva took a strong stand Monday against the postponed LSU-Florida game being rescheduled on Saturday, November 19, because he does not want to give up his scheduled home game on that date against South Alabama.
"What I said the other day about this being very difficult to reschedule is still true," he said before LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron's press luncheon on Monday. "I think it's very difficult. One thing that we're going to hold very firm on is that we have a home game on November 19th, and we're going to have a home game on November 19th."
Alleva paused at the podium and said again, "We are going to have a home game on November 19th. We are not going change that situation."
November 19 is the only spot on LSU's remaining schedule without a conference opponent on it. LSU would have to pay South Alabama a $1.5 million buyout to eliminate it from the schedule while Florida would have to pay its November 19 opponent Presbyterian just $500,000 to swap it for LSU. By losing a home game on November 19, Alleva's athletic department would lose more than $3 million, which it routinely makes on a home game. The SEC and Florida, though, could reimburse some or all of that money.
There is a mathematical chance that playing one fewer SEC games could cost LSU the Southeastern Conference West title. If LSU wins out it would finish 6-1 in the league. If Alabama wins the rest of its SEC games except the LSU game, it would finish 7-1 and would win the SEC West. Alleva was asked if he is willing to make that potential sacrifice to keep the $3 million from the November 19 home game.
"We're not going to give up a home game," he answered. "If it plays out that way, we're playing at home on November 19. Our fans and this city deserve a home game."
Alleva is also against another possible makeup scenario that would have Georgia and Florida moving its October 29 game in Jacksonville, Florida, up to October 22 so Florida and LSU could play on October 29. LSU has an open date on October 29 - one week ahead of its November 5 home game against Alabama, which is also open on October 29.
"I'm not in favor of playing a game on that day, unless Alabama also plays a game on that day," Alleva said and discussed another scenario - moving the SEC Championship Game from December 3 to December 10 and have LSU and Florida play on December 3.
"I don't know if that's going to be an option," he said. "Because there are TV contracts and dome contracts. I just get back to what I said, that I think it's going to be very difficult to reschedule this game."
And Alleva kept on going. He is also in favor of a mid-season change of how the SEC division titles are decided.
"Maybe we should only count division games," he said.
All SEC games are currently counted toward the SEC West and East titles. Division records count in the tiebreakers.
LEONARD FOURNETTE UPDATE: LSU tailback Leonard Fournette's status for Saturday's game between LSU (3-2, 2-1 SEC) and Southern Mississippi (4-2, 2-1 Conference USA) remains up in the air, Orgeron said Monday.
"I would list him as questionable right now," Orgeron said.
Fournette did not play in LSU's win over Missouri on October 1 with an ankle injury and was not going to play at Florida on Saturday before that game was postponed by Hurricane Matthew.
LSU and Southern Mississippi kick off at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.
LSU-OLE MISS GAME TIME: The LSU-Ole Miss game on October 22 in Tiger Stadium will be televised at 8 p.m. that Saturday on ESPN, the SEC announced on Monday.
Coverage of LSU and commentary by Glenn Guilbeau supported by Hebert’s Town & Country Automobile Dealer in Shreveport located at 1155 East Bert Kouns Loop. Research your next Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram at http://hebertstandc.com/.