The SEC scheduling talks are heating up during the conference's spring meetings in Destin, Florida. The spring meetings always provide athletic directors and coaches with an opportunity to lobby for things they want to happen.
With the league expanding to 14 teams for the upcoming 2012 college football season, the schedule has generated plenty of chatter. I have not liked what I've heard from the LSU representatives at the meetings regarding the schedule. Namely, athletic director Joe Alleva and head coach Les Miles have been talking about not playing cross-divisional rival Florida on a yearly basis anymore.
Alleva said, "It's not because I'm opposed to playing Florida. I just think it creates a competitive inequity in the whole league. In my opinion, people are voting for their own self-interests, not what's best for the whole league." First of all, how is Alleva going to pretend that getting an easier opponent than Florida isn't in LSU's self-interest? Secondly, why should we expect any of the schools to not vote in their own interest?
Miles said, "Mississippi State is going to play Kentucky every year. I think that's disproportionate. I'm not for that. I'm not for Auburn playing Georgia every year. Again, it's disproportionate. I think there should be an opportunity to see a greater segment of the conference. I think the opportunity to rotate two games as opposed to one game, not annually picking an arbitrary criteria to determine the champion." Miles also said the majority of the SEC coaches felt the way he did, but he was wrong.
The way to have teams play more of the league would be for the SEC to not have overreacted and expanded in the first place. We should ask, if this concern about balance or playing more of the league is indeed serious, why didn't LSU fight against expansion? Did no one realize expansion would cause the problems currently being complained about?
LSU should continue to play the Gators every season. It's been an exciting game for fans which also draws national interest. This hand-wringing over the schedule needs to stop because it is likely going to be a losing effort which is only making the school look bad.
As an LSU fan, I want to see our Tigers play the Gators every season. It's a rivalry that ought to continue and gives the fans something to look forward to during this frustrating round of expansion.
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