First Kevin Sumlin, Now Les Miles; Disagreeing With Will Muschamp Becoming The Norm

Although mild by comparison, LSU Tigers’ head coach Les Miles has joined the ranks of those disagreeing with Florida Gators’ head coach Will Muschamp. It’s not an argument of Texas A&M levels (even though that wasn’t much of an argument either), but a difference of opinion between the two regarding the annual game between their teams.

Last week, Muschamp voiced his support of keeping the game between the Gators and Tigers on the schedule every season. The stature of the teams coupled with the rivalry that has been created is reason enough for many to want to see the game on an annual basis. With the changing landscape of the SEC and the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, Miles doesn’t feel the same way. At least, that’s what we’re devising from this:

“This is all based on some vague tradition that is not considering that you’re adding teams to the conference.” – Les Miles, LSU Tigers’ Head Coach

Miles went on to say that Florida isn’t in the same state as LSU (a true fact) and that the rivalry is only there because of the enjoyment of playing each other (uh, okay). The LSU head coach has never been easy to understand when it comes to attempting to read into his words, but this much seems obvious: he doesn’t value the rivalry that has been created over the past 41 years as much as Muschamp does.

Florida and LSU have faced each other 57 times (and each of those last 41 years) and have each won six of the last 12 meetings. Whether Miles wants to admit it’s a true rivalry or not, it has become one and should continue long after these two coaches have moved on. It should be preserved over attempts to create new rivalries with the new SEC members. Those will come over time, but this rivalry has already flourished.

Muschamp reiterated his point again. He believes the game is good for both programs, for college football, and for the conference. He’s right. Sure, the SEC doesn’t need much help when it comes to big games and national prominence, but there’s no need to start to eliminate valuable rivalries now.

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7 Responses to First Kevin Sumlin, Now Les Miles; Disagreeing With Will Muschamp Becoming The Norm

  1. One Eyed Willy says:

    I’m not sure I agree with Les Miles’ reasoning, but I agree with his overall thoughts as they relate to UF-LSU game. I have been a Gator all my life and love playing LSU, but they are not in the top-tier of rivals for UF. FSU, UGA and Tenn are much bigger rivals. I would maybe even argue that Auburn is a better rival for UF when you take into account how little we play them. The only reason to me that LSU is a rival is because we play them every year. If we would have been locked it to play Bama or Auburn each year instead, we would be just as big of rivals with them as we are now with LSU — if not more. I really just don’t see how its fair that some teams can be locked in each year to play LSU or Bama and others get locked in to play Ole Miss. Doesn’t quite add up to me. I personally believe that SEC teams should play 9 in-conference games. Seems ridiculous to me that we will only play 60% of the other SEC teams each year. Not that one more game makes it too much more fair, but at least it’s something.

    • But look at that for a second…

      UGA and Tenn can’t be lumped into this discussion because they are SEC East teams and we play them every season regardless.

      FSU can’t be either because they are an in-state, but out-of-conference team.

      The only comparison really are the other teams in the SEC West. I agree with you that at one time I thought Auburn was a better rival, but it’s exactly the reason you said that we SHOULD be playing them in the future…because we’re playing them every year. Yes, it would be just as big of a rivalry if we had played Bama or Auburn each yet, but we didn’t. Instead, we’ve played LSU for 41 straight.

      In terms of fairness, I can understand the argument, but despite playing each other every season, Florida and LSU won four the six national titles contested between 2003 and 2008 and LSU played for the title this past season. That annual game really isn’t hurting either program.

      • One Eyed Willy says:

        I hear ya. But I still don’t think losing them as a common opponent each year would be a crushing blow to most Gator fans. Losing UGA would be very hard. Losing FSU very hard as well. But losing LSU each and every year really wouldn’t make me feel much different about our season.

        All in all, my biggest argument against having LSU as a lock every year (or any team for that matter in the West) is that there are just too many teams now in the conference to do that. We already have one more lock than we did before with Missouri. Now we are going to play Bama and Auburn something like once every 5 years or twice every 10 years. Imagine that? We play Bama as our rotating west as a home-and-home series lets say in 2012 and 2013. Assuming that the scheduling stayed as it is today, we wouldn’t play them again until 2024 and 2025 (if I did my math correctly)! That is ridiculous and kind of sad. Not that having LSU rotate out changes it all that much, but at least you wouldn’t have a decade to wait before playing all the other teams in the West again.

        • But my point is…we aren’t going to lose UGA or FSU. You really can’t compare LSU to that top tier of rivals. No one is comparing those. Sure the blow doesn’t compare to what it would be with those bigger rivals, but that’s not really the discussion because those ones aren’t going anywhere. The real comparison would be when it comes to Auburn and Bama and the rest of the West.

    • As for the 9-game SEC schedule proposal, I agree. Playing 9 games + FSU still gives you two potential gimmies to throw in. I like the idea of playing the 6 divisional opponents, having that one SEC West mainstay, and keeping the other two West team rotation that occurs now.

      • One Eyed Willy says:

        It would be brutal, but it’s the best way in my opinion. No one made the SEC go to 14 teams, but when it did I think it almost guaranteed a 9th SEC game somewhere in the near future. And with a 9th game, I would be much more eager to stick with the common SEC West opponent as you argued above.

        • If we have to lose the annual West opponent because they stick with an 8-game schedule then I completely understand it, but it doesn’t mean I want to lose LSU. I get why and I think the 9-game is what would have to be done to keep them.

          I don’t get why the 9-game is considered such a problem to so many people. What about if the SEC went to 16 teams? Or even more? Then 8 games would seem ridiculous.

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