LSU wide receiver Jarvis Landry makes the catch as a Mississippi State defenders watches during the Tigers' 37-17 win Saturday in Baton Rouge. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:42 AM
Regardless of what happens in the coming weeks, LSU’s Les Miles thinks the Southeastern Conference champion should be in the BCS national championship game.
Then again, Miles hasn’t totally given up on the notion that that team could be his own Tigers — even though it would take the monumental upset of Auburn over Alabama in two weeks for LSU to even reach the SEC title game.
“I think there’s still a chance, a very outside chance, that we end up as the Western (Division) rep in that (SEC) championship game,” Miles said Monday. “We’ll certainly play for that until we know.”
The Tigers (8-2, 4-2 SEC) host Ole Miss (5-5, 2-4) Saturday, then travel to play Arkansas the following Friday. Their regular season will end a day before Auburn gets a shot at the upset of the year.
So, all LSU can do is play its best as heavy favorites in the final two games and hope for the best.
Which is about where the SEC, still reverberating from Texas A&M’s upset of previous No. 1 Alabama, stands as a whole.
The conference has six of the top nine teams in the latest BCS rankings, but none in the top two — currently Kansas State and Oregon — which is all that matters toward reaching the BCS title game.
Notre Dame is also unbeaten and third in the rankings, with Alabama the highest ranked SEC team at No. 4.
Then, Nos. 5-9, it’s five more SEC teams: Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Despite the unprecedented glut in the rankings, without some help, it would appear the SEC won’t get the chance to add to its streak of six straight national championships.
That would irk Miles.
“The champion of this league should well have the opportunity to play in that national championship game until somebody proves that the winner of this league is not the nation’s best,” he said.
“I’d still like to think that the conference champion might well have the opportunity.”
It would likely take at least two of the top three losing games in the final weeks of the season.
If it was two years from now, when college football will go to a four-team playoff for the 2014 season, the league might not be sweating so much.
“If there was a four-team playoff this year,” Miles said, “We might all make it. It’s on the cusp.
“This conference, there are a number of very skillful teams and therefore receive strong national rankings and we play all of them — everybody in this league plays a difficult schedule.”
They don’t actually play all of the conference members, although LSU just completed a five-game streak in which the Tigers played four of that SEC six pack in the BCS top nine. And Mississippi State, which LSU beat 37-17 Saturday, is still ranked No. 25 in the Harris poll despite its third straight conference loss.
“I think strength of schedule certainly makes a difference,” Miles said. “There are some teams that have not played the style of schedule that is played week in and week out in this conference.
“I think the team that stands on the podium with the SEC championship trophy should well get great consideration to play in that (BCS championship) game.”