Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, this shapes up as one of the stranger weekends in SEC football history. Tony Barnhart at Gridiron Now digs into the LSU/FL game saga and other issues impacting the SEC in Week 6.
Florida-LSU already has been postponed and no one is sure when/if the game can be rescheduled. Georgia was scheduled to play at South Carolina on Saturday night, but the game was moved to Sunday afternoon.
The Florida-LSU postponement leaves us with five games.
1. Are you people crazy?
Less than five minutes after the SEC announced that the Florida-LSU game would be postponed, the Twitterverse was abuzz with every kind of conspiracy theory known to man.
* Florida didn’t want to move the game to Baton Rouge because its team is banged up and the Gators just didn’t want to play.
* Florida is hoping that the game will not be played so, at 6-1 in the SEC East, it could squeeze out a 6-2 Tennessee.
* Florida purposely ran out the clock and dumped the decision in the lap of the SEC office, which had no choice.
This is grassy knoll stuff.
How about this as an explanation: It’s just a damned football game.
A good portion of the state of Florida, including the Gainesville area, is about to get hit by a hurricane of historic proportions.
Florida didn’t want to pick up on a moment’s notice and move the game on Tuesday or Wednesday. When South Carolina moved its game to LSU last season, that discussion started on Sunday and was finished early Monday. The discussion on this game didn’t start until Tuesday night.
I talked to Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley late Thursday afternoon. His explanation was simple: As of Wednesday at 4 p.m., it looked as if the storm was on a track that would’ve made Saturday’s game possible with a later kickoff than noon, as was originally scheduled.
“I understand the interest in the game, but let’s get real, folks,” Foley said. “We’re about to have the kind of storm that we haven’t seen around here.”
Obviously, the folks at LSU look at things different. LSU’s position is it went the extra mile to relocate the game to Baton Rouge and Florida said no because the possibility existed that the game could be played Gainesville.
Now, I agree that the game has to be played. There cannot be a situation where a team benefits from not playing a conference game. A way will be found to play the game.
But people, please. It’s just a football game. Hurricanes are unpredictable and every school is responsible for keeping its people safe. Let’s tone down the rhetoric.