After a full week of back-and-forth hee-hawing from the LSU and Florida athletic directors over where the teams would make up their recent game canceled by Hurricane Matthew, the two teams have come to an agreement.
The SEC announced today that the Gators will travel to Baton Rouge to take on the Tigers Nov. 19, replacing LSU’s non-conference opponent, South Alabama. The stalemate had fans on both sides worried; had the two teams not been able to find a solution, the SEC made clear that they would be ineligible to compete for the conference title. To balance things out, LSU will now travel to Gainesville in 2017 before returning to the regular schedule and playing at Florida again in 2018.
On Monday, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva told reporters that one way or another, the Tigers were playing a home game come Nov. 19:
“One thing we’re going to hold very firm on is that we have a home game on November 19, and we’re going to have a home game on November 19,” Alleva said forcefully Monday. “We are going to have a home game on November 19. We are not going to change that situation. It’s the fact that our fans and this city deserve to have a home game that day. We’re not going to give up a home game.”
Florida AD Jeremy Foley, who is easing his way into retirement, was equally steadfast in not ceding the Gators’ home contest; as of 5 p.m. today, Foley still seemed displeased with the fact Florida, which is atop the SEC East along with Tennessee, would have to play away from home. He will hold a press conference at 7:30 p.m. to no doubt offer more salty takes on the switch.
LSU’s November slate now consists of playing Alabama, at Arkansas, Florida, and at Texas A&M, with the regular-season finale currently slated as a Friday contest.