Joe Alleva and LSU didn’t get what they wanted when Southeastern Conference leaders voted to keep the permanent cross-division game in football scheduling.
The athletic director and his program may have gotten the next best thing: night games in Tiger Stadium.
Under the influence of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, ESPN networks have given “assurances” to LSU that the Tigers will have more night games in the future, and CBS has promised to limit its number of day-game selections.
Alleva told The Advocate on Monday night that he expects all seven home games in 2014 to kick off at night.
The Tigers should have more home night games in the future, he said, after having a conversation with Slive over the weekend in Atlanta, where SEC presidents and athletic directors gathered to vote on scheduling.
“When going through the process, there was a lot of the talk was about tradition, and I told him that our tradition at LSU is playing night games,” Alleva said. “If we’re going to be stuck with permanent partners and Mississippi State has cowbells, it’d be nice if we can play night games at Tiger Stadium.”
Since 2006 and excluding the once-yearly day game with Arkansas, LSU has had 31 of 86 regular-season games selected by CBS, many of them at home and in the network’s 2:30 p.m. time slot.
With the launch of the SEC Network this fall, CBS will still keep its 2:30 p.m. kickoff spot, and ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will continue to air games at their evening hours.
The SEC Network, an ESPN affiliate, is expected to have an early time slot (11 a.m.) and an afternoon game running simultaneously with the CBS game.
“We’ve received assurances that they will do everything they can to have us play night games on all of ESPN affiliates,” Alleva said.
Slive engaged in conversation with CBS “and expressed to them that we wanted to play night games,” Alleva said.
“They’ll limit the numbers of exposures during the day in Tiger Stadium,” he said. “I think this next year we have a chance to have every one of our games play night games.”
CBS gets the first selection of SEC games each week. The network has two evening slots over the course of the season.
Alleva said Slive has “encouraged (CBS) to pick us when we’re on the road.”
“It’s great for our fans,” Alleva said of the night games. “From a fairness standpoint, from a tradition standpoint for us, playing night games is critical. We’ve made huge steps in that direction.”
Miles weighs in
SEC leaders didn’t give “great thought” to fairness when voting on the recent future of league football scheduling, LSU coach Les Miles said.
Miles weighed in Monday on the conference’s decision to maintain the current eight-game conference schedule, including the permanent cross-division opponent.
LSU’s permanent opponent is Florida. The two have met every year since 1971.
“We play the toughest schedule in America in our conference, and then we have the bias of the permanent partner,” Miles told The Advocate on Monday while speaking at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. “We’re now also being mandated to take a BCS team. The bias of the schedule continues to be disproportionate. Fundamentally fair is not something they’ve given great thought to.”
School presidents voted Sunday to keep the same format but add a component: Starting in 2016, SEC teams must play at least one nonconference game per year against a team from the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 or ACC.
Grimes under 3-year deal
LSU offensive line coach Jeff Grimes is under a three-year contract and will receive an automatic $30,000-plus raise in 2016, according to a copy of his contract released to The Advocate under public records laws.
The Advocate reported earlier this month that Grimes is making a base salary of $362,500. He will get a boost to $400,000 on Jan. 1, 2016.
Grimes, like many LSU assistants, can receive incentives for postseason accomplishments. His incentive package is capped at $75,000.
Grimes made $280,900 last year at Virginia Tech. He is the fifth-highest-paid assistant on the Tigers’ nine-person staff.
LSU has not released the contract for new special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto.
Grimes’ contract is now the longest of any position coach. Every other position coach and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron have contracts that run through the 2015 season. Defensive coordinator John Chavis’ contract runs through 2014.
Miles’ contract runs through 2019.