BCS Title Game Should Not Include One-Loss SEC Team
The reasoning, of course, was because Alabama played in the mighty SEC.
Well, Alabama's chance to repeat as national champion was officially put to rest on the Bayou by a gambling, fake-punt calling, fourth-down reverse-calling, grass-eating coach named Les Miles.
LSU's 24-21 victory against Alabama was celebrated long into Saturday night from Baton Rouge to Fort Worth to Boise. While handing the Crimson Tide their second loss, the Tigers effectively killed any chances for a one-loss SEC team playing in the BCS title game.
Or did they?
Don't look now but a one-loss LSU could advance to the BCS title game. Even if -- wait for it -- the Tigers fail to win the SEC title.
Unlikely? Sure. Possible? Yep. Just go back to 2001 and 2003 when Nebraska and Oklahoma, respectively, advanced to the national title game despite not winning their conference.
And that's a very real possibility this year.
"Any one-loss SEC championship team should play in the BCS title game," LSU offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale told FanHouse. "Because it's the SEC, man. It's the toughest conference in America. There's no competition that can compare."
But what if LSU doesn't win the SEC? The Tigers would need Auburn to lose twice, but even if that doesn't happen LSU is in great position.
So how could a one-loss LSU squad get into the BCS title game without winning the SEC? Actually it's fairly simple. This week's projected BCS rankings are expected to have Oregon first, Auburn second, TCU third and Boise State fourth. All four squads are unbeaten.
LSU, which was ranked No. 10 in last week's BCS rankings, could jump all the way to No. 5 and would be the nation's highest ranked one-loss team.
Last week the Tigers were ranked No. 11 by the coaches' poll and No. 12 by the Harris poll – both of which should find LSU dramatically improving in on Sunday – and were ranked No. 6 by the computers.
So all the Tigers need is for Oregon or Auburn to lose one game the rest of the way and LSU conceivably could jump unbeaten TCU and Boise State in the final BCS poll on Dec. 5. If Oregon loses a game, then get ready to hold your nose: America could be force-fed an Auburn-LSU rematch in the BCS title game in Glendale, Ariz.
The question is: should a one-loss SEC team be selected over undefeated TCU or Boise State?
My opinion: no freakin' way.
TCU and Boise State have proven they are among the best teams in the country and can beat anyone in the country. However, the argument against them is because they are not tested perhaps as much as some other teams week in, week out, they should be denied a shot at the BCS title.
That's ludicrous. So is a popular SEC argument that if TCU or Boise State had to play the same stretch Alabama did in the SEC -- consecutive games against Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina -- that TCU or Boise State wouldn't go undefeated.
Well, guess what? Neither did Alabama.
After TCU pummeled Utah, 47-7 on Saturday, Horned Frogs quarterback Andy Dalton stated the obvious: "We showed we can play with anybody."
TCU's been doing that every week with the nation's top defense.
So has Boise State. The Broncos ripped Hawaii 42-7 Saturday, gaining a school-record 737 yards. Boise State critics will dismiss it as Boise State beating up on another weak opponent, except for the fact the Warriors had the nation's seventh-ranked offense and the Broncos limited them to 196 yards, nearly 300 yards below their average.
With the disparity in conference schedules between TCU and Boise State and the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-10 teams, the argument will never end.
LSU punter Josh Jasper said the Tigers respect every team, no matter what conference they're in.
"There's a lot of speculation about the SEC being the best conference and other teams that go undefeated that don't really play anybody; whether or not they're a good team, or not, we don't pay attention to that," Jasper said. "If we win the rest of our games, I think we'll be in great position (at the BCS title game) to have a chance at something like that."
LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson said the Tigers "definitely" should be considered because "we have this high powered conference."
"I just feel like I won a million dollars," added Jefferson, after throwing for 141 yards and a touchdown. (Go ahead and feel free to insert your own Auburn quarterback joke).
LSU's win against Alabama was no joke. And it was certainly no fluke. The Tigers had 433 yards offense against the nation's 11th-best defense.
That's right: LSU's pedestrian offense, which was the SEC's second-worst and the nation's 20th worst, gained more yards against Alabama this year than any other team had this year.
What if TCU or Boise State had manhandled a team with the nation's 20th-worst offense? It would be viewed as another weak opponent. But in the SEC, well, here's Miles' description.
"College football was celebrated today," Miles said. "That was two quality football teams slugging, start to finish, hard-nosed, clean, violent, competitive football and how wonderful was that?"
Wonderful? Yes. But is it because the SEC is the nation's best conference or perhaps, dare I suggest, that maybe the SEC is overrated?
Brett McMurphy is a national college football writer for FanHouse. Contact him at email@example.com or please follow at Twitter.com/BrettmcmurphY.