Keeping Florida as permanent rival not necessarily a top priority for LSU coach Les Miles
As discussions continue about how best to carve out league schedules in the future with the addition of two teams to the SEC, the debate over holding onto long-time rivals continued this week at the SEC spring meetings.
LSU coach Les Miles said that keeping Florida as a permanent rival isn't necessarily a must.
Miles, who supports a plan offered up by South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier that would crown division champions based solely on their play within the division, said he's more concerned with equity and fairness in league play, than just holding onto teams that have been a constant on the schedule in the past.
"I promise you competition is not the issue,'' Miles said when asked if he's in favor of keeping Florida as a traditional rival which meets annually on the schedule. "I think it’s wonderful competition. If it helps pick the division champion, I think it’s a mistake.''
Miles said with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the conference, the league needs to be able to define rivals and be willing to make adjustments to who is permanently on each other's schedules based on factors other than past history.
"This is all based on some vague tradition, it’s not considering that you’re adding teams to the conference,'' he said. "I think there needs to be a format of scheduling that is describable. If you’re going to seed teams, you’re going to say this team’s won this many championships, and there will be a descriptive style. I mean, Florida is not even a nearby state, and the tradition of rivalry is the fact that we enjoy playing them.''