CBS gives sneak peek at plans for SEC on TV

LSU not listed, but hints abound

While there were no LSU games on the abbreviated list, there was some insight as to what could be in store for the Tigers this fall.

As usual, CBS will have a pair of doubleheaders on its schedule.

Oct. 11, the network will have games at noon and 2:30 p.m. LSU plays at Florida on that date.

CBS also will have a day-night doubleheader on Nov. 8 with games at 2:30 and 7 p.m., the date Alabama plays at LSU.

While no word that LSU-Alabama will once again be CBS’s prime time pick, a look at the rest of the SEC schedule that week shows the only other likely contender for that slot is Texas A&M at Auburn.

Other games Nov. 8 are Florida at Vanderbilt, Georgia at Kentucky, Presbyterian at Ole Miss, and Tennessee Martin at Mississippi State.

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said recently he has gotten a commitment from CBS, ESPN and the SEC to allow more of the Tigers’ home games to be played at night. Alleva said he hopeful all seven games in Tiger Stadium will be night contests.

CBS’s 14th season of SEC football coverage will begin Sept. 13 with Georgia at South Carolina, a huge early season SEC East showdown.

The Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville, Florida, will be on Nov. 1. Arkansas retains its traditional day-after-Thanksgiving slot with a game Friday, Nov. 28 at Missouri.

In most years since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992, the Tigers and Razorbacks played on the day after Thanksgiving. Texas A&M is now LSU’s season-ending opponent, with the Tigers playing at the Aggies on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26. The SEC Championship Game is set for 3 p.m. Dec. 6 in Atlanta.

Tourney talk

Commissioner Mike Slive said the SEC has awarded the 2018 SEC men’s basketball tournament to the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, and the 2022 men’s tournament to the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

The SEC men’s tournament is set through 2025. The tournament will be played 2015-17 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, and returns there from 2019-21 and 2023-25.

Slive also said men’s basketball is sticking with an 18-game conference schedule, but that the number of permanent opponents for each school (which they will play home and home each season) will increase from one to three. Those opponents are still to be determined.

LSU’s current permanent opponent is Texas A&M.

SEC Network update

The SEC Network launches 11 weeks from Thursday, and Slive said he is pleased rather than concerned about how network distribution is progressing.

But Slive said, “It’s unrealistic to think we will have full distribution on Aug. 14,” the day the network goes on the air.

Slive said that because of distribution deals with AT&T U-Verse and Dish Network, the SEC Network will be available to any subscriber who wishes to make the switch.

Cox, Eatel and DirecTV are among the providers who have yet to reach distribution agreements with the SEC Network.

FCS scheduling

Florida coach Will Muschamp said he would like to do away with nonconference games against Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponents, but LSU coach Les Miles would not.

“The opportunity to play a wide group of teams from a variety of locations, that should be open to us,” Miles said. “I think that’s an advantage to our players and to theirs.”

LSU’s Sept. 6 home opener is against Sam Houston State, an FCS opponent.

Asked if he was worried about playing an FCS team impacting the Tigers’ strength of schedule, Miles replied, “It’s very difficult for me to buy that when we’re opening with Wisconsin and we play Alabama and Auburn every year.”

Spurrier’s kind of day

SEC football coaches have become notorious at recent spring meetings for getting in and getting out quickly, but South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze were among those who got in 18 holes of golf before Tuesday’s meetings began.

How did it go?

“It was a coach Spurrier kind of day,” Freeze said, of The Ol’ Ball Coach, who is widely known as one of the best golfers in his profession.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.