I was wrong earlier today when I said that there wasn't any interesting news coming out of the SEC athletics directors meeting this week. LSU AD Joe Alleva dropped this interesting bit of news:
LSU’s permanent opponent has been Florida, and athletic director Joe Alleva said both schools are interested in ending that scheduling staple.
For most observers, the LSU-Florida series is the third-most important permanent rivalry behind the storied Auburn-Georgia and Alabama-Tennessee series. In my experience, it's also a pretty popular series among the two fan bases. It wasn't much during its first dozen years; Steve Spurrier went 11-1 against the Tigers as they largely floundered in the Curley Hallman/Gerry DiNardo era. It has been one of the best series in the conference since then though.
Those are reasons why it's a surprise to hear this from Alleva. However, CBS's Brett McMurphy says it's not quite so clear from Florida's side:
Florida sources told CBSSports.com that the Gators have given no indication they want their series to end with LSU... Alleva told the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate the Tigers and Gators were interested in ending their series, but Florida sources disputed that to CBSSports.com.
If this is the case, then one wonders where Alleva got his information from.
Alleva did say that most of the ADs prefer an eight-game schedule, but the question still remains whether the designated rival system will continue. The votes on the matter from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and Tennessee are obviously going to be in favor of keeping the system. Florida, for now, sounds like it's in favor, and Missouri definitely will vote yes if it remains in the East. One of MU's top priorities is making sure it plays Texas A&M every year because it recruits heavily in the Lone Star State.
One possible solution Alleva alluded to in his comments is having some schools keep designated rivals while others don't, though Vanderbilt is staunchly against that idea. The ADs will meet again next week, and they don't have a deadline set for coming up with a permanent scheduling solution. I have doubts as to whether they'll nail it down before the new TV negotiations begin.