The 2016 Florida-LSU game will remembered for the lesson it taught us: sometimes, sacrifices need to be made. Even when they seem horribly unfair, they’re for the greater good.
The Gators will travel to Baton Rouge on November 19 to make up the game that was scheduled to be played this past weekend. The move is a result of a week’s worth of whining from LSU athletic director Joe Alleva about how playing at Florida on the same date would cost his Tigers a home game. So the solution was simple: come up with a way to play the game that costs the Gators two home games. Now Florida doesn’t get the home game against Presbyterian or the home game against LSU. Seems totally fair. Whine about things long enough like Alleva did about losing the home game and eventually you’ll get your way.
Anyway, Florida and LSU were scheduled to play cupcake opponents on this day; they will now buy them out. LSU will pay South Alabama $1.5 million and Florida will pay Presbyterian $500K.
In fairness, things will eventually even out. LSU has agreed to play at Florida in 2017, despite the conference scheduling saying it’s LSU’s year to host the game. LSU will also play at Florida in 2018 as scheduled.
So Florida has gone from hosting seven games a year in the Swamp on an annual basis to hosting six at most, and in this year’s case five. In fact, last year was the first time Florida has played seven home games in a season since 2012, though they’re on track to do this next year with the extra home game against LSU canceling out the neutral site game against Michigan.
But anyway, this whole mess eventually has a resolution. It was admittedly more important for the conference’s integrity to get this game played than to cast blame about sides “ducking” each other or “whining about it,” even though I know (and can prove) it was LSU who did the vast majority of the complaining. And now that this game has a tangible and finite future, we can all relax.