Florida Coach On LSU “They Got What They Deserved”
Much like this year's Presidential Election, the results of the LSU vs. Florida game weren't what the experts said it would be.
LSU was nearly a 2 touchdown favorite as they played host to the Florida Gators, in a game that was originally supposed to be played on October 8th in Gainseville, FL. When the game was postponed, it seemed as though the Florida program didn't want to have the played at all. But LSU could see that their only path to an SEC Championship Game spot was going to have to include a victory over Florida. So LSU pressured Florida and the SEC to get the game back on the schedule. Which they were able to, by pumping LSU's South Alabama game off their schedule, but in order to have the game shifted to Baton Rouge, they had to trade a future home game to Florida, which they agreed to, so the next two LSU/Florida games will take place in Gainseville.
With all of the pressure to get the game back on the schedule, a lot of things were said about the Florida program from all over the NCAA landscape, but none of the criticism burned as bright as it did in Baton Rouge. So when the Florida Gators finished off LSU yesterday, Florida Coach Jim McElwain fired back at LSU saying:
He could have taken the high road, he could have dusted it off and focused ahead on this team's new SEC Championship Game spot, but he didn't. He chose to spray lighter fluid on this rivalry.
The way we got to this game, the way shots were fired before kickoff, the way the tempers flared through the game, the way the final drive ended, the post-game comments, and the implications for both programs moving forward this year all get us to a red-hot rivalry. This is the kind of rivalry that could become the center-piece in an LSU season.
I know, a lot of people look at the LSU vs. Alabama rivalry as a big deal, but what's there to fight about there? The fan-bases hate each other, but the teams and programs speak highly of each other, and just have good football games. Plus it hasn't been a competitive rivalry as of late.
What you saw with Florida and LSU this season was pure hate. They might have tried to hide it, and they will never use the word "hate" specifically...but you have two programs that would not be happy if the other won an SEC Championship, or National Championship. You have fan bases who wouldn't take a knee for an injury on the other side. You have coaches who are willing to say things like "They got what they deserved." after a hard fought game.
I fully believe that right now, the LSU/Florida rivalry just became the best rivalry in the SEC. Better than LSU/Bama, better than Ole Miss/Miss St, better than Bama/Auburn...THIS is the new rivalry to get fired up about, THIS is the rivalry to judge coaches by, THIS will be the one to divide homes.
Welcome to the new LSU vs. Florida rivalry.