Saturday, 13 November 2010 20:50

Can LSU Rank Higher Than Auburn In BCS?

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LSU's 24-21 victory over Alabama on Saturday made a national championship contender out of the Tigers, per Scott Rabalais of

The No. 5-ranked (BCS) Tigers entertain Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday at 6 p.m. before finished their schedule against SEC opponents Ole Miss and Arkansas.

While the victory over Bama turned the Tigers into a player in the BCS drama, the Tigers' loss to Auburn last month may ultimately keep them out of the two big spots for the BCS Championship game on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.

It's not so much that the Tigers  have a loss -- the Bengals reached the BCS title game three years ago with two losses -- It's that the Tigers' loss was to Auburn helped put those Tigers in control of the SEC Western Division.

A victory over Georgia (5-5, 3-4 SEC) clinched a spot in the SEC Championship game for BCS No. 2 Auburn (10-0, 6-0). Denied a chance to play for the SEC title, ESPN BCS analyst Brad Edwards said it will be hard for LSU (8-1, 5-1) to make a case that it should play for the national championship.

"I think the biggest problem LSU is facing is barring a minor miracle Auburn is going to win the SEC West," said Edwards, which means LSU doesn't win the SEC.

Human polls make up two-thirds of the BCS formula, a computer average on the other third. Edwards said he believes voters in the USA Today coaches' and Harris Interactive polls would reward a one-loss champion from another conference before they would put a one-loss LSU team in the BCS title game if LSU didn't play for its own conference crown.

"Say BCS No. 1 Oregon and Auburn lost and No. 4 Boise State lost to Nevada, and there's a chance for a team from the one-loss group to get it, I think voters would move a one-loss Big Ten or Big 12 champion ahead of LSU," said Edwards.

For the Tigers to reach the SEC Championship game, they must beat Louisiana-Monroe, Auburn must lose to a Georgia team that hasn't beaten a winning team all season. and an Alabama team that fell from contender to spoiler with the loss to LSU.

Still, Edwards said the Tigers shouldn't give up hope. He recalled how a two-loss Tigers team leaped from No. 7 in the BCS standings to No. 2 in the final rankings before going on the beat The Ohio State for the championship.

"With all the whacky series of events to get into the BCS championship game three years ago, I almost half expect Georgia to beat Auburn because that is what LSU needs," said Edwards.

If Auburn does go to the BCS Championship game and LSU wins out, Edwards said he expects the Allstate Sugar Bowl to invite LSU as the SEC replacement.

Then again, it may be that LSU's regular-season finale against Arkansas (7-2, 4-2) is a playoff for the Sugar Bowl if the Razorbacks defeat UTEP and Mississippi State.

"If Auburn wins out, I think the LSU-Arkansas game is probably for the Sugar Bowl,' said Edwards.

SCOUTSINC'S  has LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson rated as the second player picked in the next NFL draft. LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis will be the 22nd player selected. Stanford quarterback Adrian Luck is rated as the No. 1 pick....

Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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