The LSU Tigers have been a charter member of the Southeastern Conference since 1933, but all good things must come to an end and there is always room for change. LSU often feels that the SEC office ignores their needs and concerns, so could it be time to finally leave the conference which they have been a part of for so long?
Scott Rabalais of The Advocate believes just that. He writes that now is the time for LSU to consider leaving the SEC and perhaps joining forces with the Big XII.
Why would LSU want to leave the SEC? Here are the five points that Rabalais makes for the change in conference and some highlights from his explanations: (You can read the entire article on The Advocate HERE)
1. Unfair football scheduling
The main problem, from LSU’s perspective, is a schedule that puts the Tigers at a competitive disadvantage to its chief rival for SEC West supremacy (with apologies to Texas A&M and Johnny Heisman), Alabama. Not only does LSU have to play at Alabama in 2013 as it usually does in odd-numbered years, but the Tigers also have to play at Georgia and host Florida, teams that tied for first in the SEC East this past season with 7-1 marks.
Alabama’s two opponents out of the East? Tennessee in Tuscaloosa and Kentucky on the road, teams that went a combined 1-15 in conference play and are breaking in new coaches.
2. Permanent opponents
LSU is saddled with Florida as its permanent opponent, while Alabama has Tennessee. Florida has finished with a better record than Tennessee in six of the past seven seasons, with the Vols having failed to post even an above-.500 SEC record since winning the SEC East in 2007.
3. Escaping the Alabama shadow
The football scheduling plan comes out of an SEC office in Birmingham, Ala., that fairly or not has long been seen as being too close to the Alabama campus — geographically and philosophically — for the rest of the conference’s good. Certainly it is not a one-sport league, but football drives the SEC’s economic train and is the face of the conference nation-wide.
4. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Conference realignment is trendier these days than even Johnny Heisman. The past couple of years have seen schools leave traditional conference homes for new affiliations that once would have seemed impossible: Nebraska to the Big Ten, West Virginia to the Big 12, Utah to the Pac-12 — and don’t forget Missouri to the SEC.
Eventually, college athletics is likely to be dominated by four 16-team super-conferences. The blocks of those super-conferences are now shifting. It makes sense to go now before the blocks are set in place.
5. Geography is overrated
Traditional geographic lines have not only been blurred in big-time college athletics, they have been obliterated. It is no longer an unwritten requirement that conference members be from states that border each other — although Louisiana does border Texas.
Before Arkansas and A&M joined the SEC, LSU was forever the SEC’s westernmost outpost. What would be so odd about being the Big 12’s southernmost? Not at all as unfathomable as it once seemed.
Would LSU actually leave the SEC? It seems very unlikely, but the frustration that appears to be building could lead to a move that no one ever saw coming. If LSU were to leave their beloved conference, there would be insane amounts of public cries and criticism being directed at the Tigers for their decision.
What do you think? Is it time for LSU to consider changing conferences? As always, sound off in the comments section and let your voice be heard.