The big news from the Southeastern Conference is that the LSU-Florida game scheduled for last Saturday in Gainesville and postponed because of Hurricane Matthew has been rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19, and will be played at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge.
There were several other tidbits in the announcement issued by first-year SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.
Because the game is going to be played in Baton Rouge rather than in Gainesville, LSU will play its 2017 game against Florida – which was to be played in Baton Rouge – in Gainesville. LSU will go to Florida again in 2018 to reset the rotation of these every year opponents from the East (Florida) and West (LSU) divisions.
In order to play the game, LSU and Florida will pay off South Alabama, which was scheduled to play LSU, and Presbyterian, Florida’s scheduled foe, for the Nov. 19 date.
So, what got the deal done?
Probably this provision of the SEC Commissioner’s Regulations: Each football team is required to play all eight conference games in a season in order to be eligible to compete for a divisional title and play in the SEC Championship Game. Had the game not been rescheduled, Florida and LSU would have been ineligible to compete for the SEC title this season.
Also of interest, the presidents and chancellors of SEC schools “have established the expectation for existing conference policy to be revised to better define the process for completing postponed or interrupted contests and to grant authority to the commissioner to determine the date and location of future games that may need to be rescheduled if the two involved institutions cannot mutually identify a date.”
“It was important for us to come to a resolution,” Sankey said. “Each university had its own set of concerns throughout this process, however existing SEC regulations did not provide an avenue to resolve conflicting issues in a more timely manner. As I have repeatedly said, this game needed to be played. In the end, I want to give credit to the University of Florida for making concessions to move this year’s game to Baton Rouge.”