Shortly following the SEC office’s letter about the postponement of the contest and Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley’s interview session about the game that is no more, the state of Louisiana computer keyboards got to chirpin’.
Two fine examples of this higher writing style came from Nola.com’s Ron Higgins and The Daily Advertiser’s Glenn Guilbeau late Thursday afternoon, praising the virtues of LSU AD Joe Alleva, you know the same LSU AD that had maybe the most boneheaded week less than a year ago when he had his minions inform everyone within earshot that Les Miles would be fired at the end of the last season.
The same Alleva that was forced to change his mind when his top target to replace Miles backed out on him and Les Miles and the Tigers pulled out a big win against Texas A&M on national television.
"I want to make it very clear and positive that Les Miles is our football coach and he will continue to be our football coach," Alleva said at the time. "Les and I have talked about this program. We are committed together to working to win to compete at the highest level."
"We're going to go forward together and win championships here at LSU."
I’m still waiting on those championships Joe, hell Les didn’t last five more games.
Maybe Joe just shoots form the hip sometimes? He held his own press conference on Thursday crying to the LSU faithful about how through rain, sleet, or hurricane, they were bound and determined to play this game this weekend. They offered up planes, trains, and automobiles if necessary to transport the Florida program to Louisiana for the contest. They offered to come to Gainesville at any time Saturday or Sunday to play… to no avail.
“I just wanted our fans to know and everyone to know, that LSU made every attempt to try to play this game,” Alleva told the LSU media Thursday. “We offered to go to Gainesville on Sunday. We offered to fly in there Sunday morning, play the game and fly back Sunday night. We offered the opportunity for them to come here Saturday or Sunday to play the game. We made every opportunity to play it.
Okay Joe, we get it.
He also had his minions all week push the matter in the press about playing the game in Louisiana. Which is part of the reason for the minions writing all the blabber they passed on Thursday after the game was ‘postponed’.
It was a bit maddening for the local media in Florida to get ‘updates’ on the status of the game all the way from Louisiana when the minions would hit the Twitter-verse with the message that Alleva wanted to share. Some were right, some were half right, but all were based on conversations that were leaked and probably shouldn’t have been.
Now the little minions are acting like the backup high school kicker at Red Stick High School that sits on the sideline taunting the other team, knowing he won’t have to get on the field and back it up. Listening to these guys, the Gators are evidently too chicken to play the game on Saturday. They refused to move the game to Louisiana because they didn’t want to play the game.
Writes Guilbeau on Thursday… “The decision should have been made on Wednesday, but it is clear Florida didn’t want to play if it could get out of it. McElwain, who will be much of Foley’s slipping legacy, has a defensive line depleted by injuries, and his original starting quarterback is still gimpy with a knee sprain. So he definitely didn’t want to move the game and decrease his chances of winning by more at the stadium of a suddenly inspired LSU team with a new coach and a new offense with a new offensive coordinator. Florida, meanwhile, could barely beat Vanderbilt last week. Vanderbilt pushed Florida around. So, McElwain didn’t want to go to LSU.”
Higgins sarcastically penned that the Gators have no want or desire to avoid the contest… “Florida, whose entire starting defensive line along with another offensive starting lineman may not have played against LSU because of injuries, not to mention starting quarterback Luke Del Rio, who was considering playing on a gimpy knee that has sidelined him for the last two games.
“Certainly not Florida, which by canceling the game meant its schedule is now an unscheduled open date Saturday, followed by a game against East Division cellar dweller Missouri next Saturday, and followed by the previously scheduled open date in two weeks.”
I’m just wondering if these guys were giggling on the phone at each other when they decided to add these lines to their stories.
Hey Guilbeau and Higgins, I have news for you. Florida actually decided to form this little storm out in the Atlantic so they could just skip the game. That fits your agenda right?
I noticed that bastion of integrity Alleva denied being asked about the possibility of moving the game to November 19, when both teams have non-conference games that could be bought out. Something that ESPN’s Brett McMurphy said was the case earlier in the day.
In the end, it was pretty clear that Florida wanted the home game. The statement released on Wednesday (http://florida.scout.com/story/1714211-florida-lsu-will-face-off-in-gain...) was pretty clear about that. They were doing whatever they could and holding out as long as they could to get a final decision on whether or not to cancel it.
If conditions were going to get to a point where they couldn’t have the game in Gainesville, it made no sense to play on the road for several reasons. In Jeremy Foley’s mind it was more about the safety and welfare of his people travelling away from an area that would be difficult to travel at all.
"We made it the same time,” Foley said. “Our decision today was that this football game could not be played here this weekend in Gainesville nor could the University of Florida be traveling this weekend. One other part of this conversation that people don't realize is we have players on our team whose families are being impacted by what's potentially going to happen here. Gainesville is going to have some issues I believe in terms of rain and wind based on the forecast that we've been told, so you go on the road and back here, you may have staff people or players or what have you with families that have electricity, at the end of the day, it boils down to 'What are we trying to do here?' It goes back to what I said earlier. We are going to make sure people are safe. We're going to make sure we do the right things for the right reasons. We'd love to play this football game. I'll go back to what I said earlier, today, the decision was made on our end that we could not play this in Gainesville on Saturday or Sunday nor would we want to put our football team on the road under the same set of circumstances."
Bleacher Report SEC College Football Writer Barrett Sallee also made a valid point about some of what Foley mentioned above.
The minions all point to LSU’s ability a year ago to move the South Carolina game which was supposed to be played in Columbia to Baton Rouge. The circumstances were much different. This was a situation that was in limbo for most of the early part of the week, the floods in South Carolina hit and made it impossible to get around. There was a viable shot that things could have changed here as the week progressed, it was already a mess there early in the week.
So the Bayou Boys can keep spouting the virtues of their rough and tough football team that the Gators are scared of. They can believe everything that comes from their inner-cone of information at LSU. But, now things are turned back on LSU.
It is plain and simple that the Gators are willing to give up the home game with Presbyterian on the November 19 weekend in order to play LSU that weekend. As we mentioned, LSU has a non-conference game with South Alabama scheduled. The SEC has an insurance policy that will cover the costs of the buyouts of the two games. LSU would lose the revenue from a home game, but they certainly benefited from an extra game at home a year ago playing South Carolina there.
The ball appears to be in LSU’s court. They have shown their ‘better’ side in how they have tried to do everything to play this game. Now are they willing to still play it?
I’m sure we will eventually hear more form Alleva and his minions, in the meantime we are still waiting to see that next championship he wins with Les Miles.