Steep price to pay for both Florida, LSU to move game to Baton Rouge
All you LSU fans who clamored that the Florida game should have been played in Baton Rouge, you’re getting your way, just a little later.
And you Florida fans who insisted LSU play Nov. 19, your wish has been granted too.
LSU and Florida agreed Thursday to play Nov. 19 at Tiger Stadium to make up for the game scheduled for Oct. 8 that was postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Matthew.
But what a cost to both teams to get this game played.
For Florida, the costs are to this season. Not only will the Gators lose a home game against LSU, but also the scheduled home game against Presbyterian set for Nov. 19. LSU will lose a home game that day as well, as the South Alabama game has to be punted, but with UF coming instead, the schedule keeps its total number of home games.
But the Tigers gain so much more. Hosting Florida gives LSU a fifth SEC home game this year against three road games. Florida will play just five home games, instead of the originally scheduled seven, and now only has two more home dates the rest of the year.
LSU will suffer next year with an imbalanced schedule that will include five SEC road games and just three home games. The Tigers must go to Florida in both 2017 and 2018.
So it’s not like either program makes out like bandits here. Both have a price to pay at different times.
How does it affect the teams in the short term?
- With Florida coming to Baton Rouge, LSU plays three of its final five SEC games at home and four of its six games overall. That’s a much more manageable conference schedule than the one that would have had the Tigers finishing the season with three straight road games.
- However, the final stretch of games is still tough as LSU’s November is Alabama, at Arkansas, Florida and a short week at Texas A&M on Thanksgiving Thursday.
- LSU is able to have two byes, which will be helpful for a team that’s had a lot of injuries, especially on offense.
- LSU finishes with an 11-game schedule. While it’s still possible for the Tigers to win the Western Division at 9-2, could the Tigers lack of a 12th game cost them if they were to enter the College Football Playoff Conversation?
- There will be hell to pay next year for whoever the new coach is, whether it’s interim head coach Ed Orgeron or somebody else. The Tigers already had to go to Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi State and Ole Miss and now get to add the Gators to a grueling road schedule. They also play BYU in Houston to start the season and play six home games. Could this have an influence on who might want the job?
- The home stretch gets much tougher for the Gators, who finish at LSU and Florida State. The Gators have a road game at Arkansas to look forward to as well.
- How costly is it for Florida and the city of Gainesville to lose not only the LSU game, but the Presbyterian game from the home schedule? One of LSU’s biggest objections was the loss of game-weekend revenue to a flood-ravaged city from losing the South Alabama game. How about losing two home games in one season? This is the kind of decision that could put some local businesses that rely on home game revenue for big windfalls out of business.
- Like LSU, Florida gets to have two byes. With injuries, especially to the defensive front and to quarterback Luke Del Rio, this could prove to be beneficial down the home stretch.
- Florida looks to be better next year and it has to love its chances with a home-friendly schedule in 2017. After opening against Michigan in Dallas, the Gators play five of the next six at home, including games against Tennessee, LSU and Texas A&M in the Swamp. The Gators also get Florida State in Gainesville to wrap up an eight-game home schedule. The road games? At Kentucky, Missouri and South Carolina. That’s setting up to be a huge season for the Gators.