Rabalais: Five items (blow up football scheduling; leave Birmingham) to add to new SEC commissioner Greg Sankey’s to-do list _lowres

Greg Sankey speaks with the SEC Network (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

A slew of scenarios has been kicked around as ways for LSU and Florida to make up their game postponed by Hurricane Matthew.

Every option comes with its own set of pros and cons and implicates other Southeastern Conference teams.

One thing to keep in mind: According to the SEC regulations, "if a contest is postponed ... the two participating institutions, in consultation with the Commissioner or his/her designee, shall attempt to reschedule the game at a later date or time. If the contest cannot be rescheduled, the Commissioner shall cancel the contest."

Translation: If LSU, Florida and SEC officials can't agree on a makeup date, the 2016 edition of LSU vs. Florida won't happen.

Here's an overview of what appear to be the most realistic options...

Play Nov. 19

This idea seems to be gaining steam with many folks -- excluding LSU athletic director Joe Alleva.

“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.”

 

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That home game is against South Alabama of the Sun Belt Conference. The same day, Florida hosts Presbyterian.

The prevailing thought is LSU and Florida can buy out their respective games and, instead, the Tigers and Gators play one another in Gainesville.

But it's not that simple.

That scenario would force LSU, like Alleva said, to forfeit a home game. It also could cause a host of issues for the SBC, as reported by ESPN.

Not to mention, the Tigers would lose more than $4 million in this scenario —$1.5 million for the buyout and more than $3 million in home game revenue. Even if the SEC were to reimburse the school, a Baton Rouge community hit hard by widespread flooding in August would lose out on millions. The local area sees an economic boon of more than $10 million during LSU home game weekends, according to a 2014 study.

LSU also would play three straight SEC road games in this scenario.


Play Oct. 29

LSU is off as it has a bye before facing Alabama the following week. Florida and Georgia are scheduled to play that day in Jacksonville, Florida. That game would have to be moved up a week to Oct. 22. The Gators and Bulldogs share an open date then.

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity called moving the Georgia-Florida game "impractical" during an interview on the SEC Network on Monday.

Alleva said he would only agree to play Oct. 29 if top-ranked Alabama, which shares an open date with LSU, plays that week. The two meet Nov. 5 in Tiger Stadium.


Play Dec. 3

This scenario is reportedly LSU President F. King Alexander's preference. But it sounds like it's LSU vs. the world to make it happen.

Playing Dec. 3 would mean moving the SEC title game, which, according to ESPN, is "highly, highly unlikely."

Even if the SEC agreed to this option, the ESPN report cites College Football Playoff complications that'd arise from moving the SEC title game back a week. A week-delayed SEC title game would delay the CFP announcing its four-team playoff and push back the announcement of other bowl-game matchups.


Don't play at all

When the dust settles, the 2016 version of LSU vs. Florida might end up as just being a star in a record book. The two teams have played 62 times and annually since 1971 (Gators lead the the series, 31-28-3).

But if LSU and Alleva aren't willing to budge on conceding a home game. And Florida and the SEC aren't willing to budge on moving the SEC title game or the Florida-Georgia game, this game likely won't happen.


Just so everyone is on the same page...why does this game matter so much?

The LSU-Florida game could have a significant impact on the conference standings. Winning percentage — not total wins — determines which teams play in the SEC title game.

If LSU were to win out and finish 6-1 in the conference, the Tigers would not advance to the SEC title game over a 7-1 West Division team, even one they had beaten.

If Florida finishes 6-1 in the conference and Tennessee is 6-2, the Gators advance to the title game as the East representative, despite losing to the Volunteers.