Personally, I would hate to see this annual rivalry go away. Making the trip from Gainesville to Bourbon Street then to Baton Rouge in a RV with a bunch of friends is easily my favorite road trip. One or both teams are traditionally in the top 10 when they meet and the fans are equally "spirited". It may make it easier for both teams to get to Atlanta if they end this series and fill the spot with cupcakes but the fans are the ones that would lose.
For the past few months, more than a few LSU and Florida fans have made it clear on this website and others that they would have zero problem dumping their schools’ permanent cross-divisional rivalry.
Why? Because everyone wants a namby-pamby, wussed-out, cakewalk of a schedule these days.
Earlier this week, LSU AD Joe Alleva told The Baton Rouge Advocate that both his school and Florida “are interested in ending that scheduling staple,” as the Advocate’s Scott Rabalais put it. Alleva made that comment following a meeting of the SEC’s ADs in Nashville on Wednesday. In other words, he was in a room with UF athletic director Jeremy Foley for several hours.
But Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com wrote last evening that “Florida sources told CBSSports.com that the Gators have given no indication they want their series to end with LSU.” McMurphy stated that Foley could not be reached for comment, which begs two questions:
Who from Florida did McMurphy talk to?
Why would Alleva say the Gators are interested in dumping the LSU-UF game if Foley had told him anything to the contrary?
Best guess? McMuphy’s sources are either a) wrong or b) putting a little PR spin to things.
We’ll go with option b.
Florida probably doesn’t want to appear to be cowardly. So if the SEC as a whole decides to nix permanent cross-divisional games like UF-LSU, the school might wholeheartedly support such a move in private… while sharing a “we’re not trying to end that rivalry” message publicly.