The first BCS rankings of 2010 are out, and there are no real surprises.
The rankings, driven by the national media, continue to favor teams who play mediocre competition and blow them out rather than teams that play legitimate competition and win by small margins.
Although the BCS is a flawed system and some teams may have been slighted a little in the initial rankings, this will be a season when play on the field will ultimately decide who plays for the title.
LSU controls their own destiny with a strong schedule for the second half of the season. If the Tigers can win out, they will be in the title game and hopefully will get a chance to show doubters that the SEC is still the most dominant conference.
LSU started the 2010 season ranked number 19 in the Associated Press poll and has slowly but surely inched their way up the rankings week by week.
The Tigers squeaked by three ranked opponents largely due to bad coaching and second half play each week.
LSU’s quarterback situation, which is still not resolved after seven weeks, has held them back tremendously. 2009 starter Jordan Jefferson has been unable to move the offense and back up Jarrett Lee, who has moved the chains when he is in the game, has been unable to officially unseat Jefferson as the starter.
The controversy has been swirling in Baton Rouge with Les Miles’ coaching decisions constantly being questioned and scrutinized, but Tiger fans cannot really back up an argument against Miles as the Mad Hatter continues to find ways to win.
The Tigers have tested the cardiology of their fans each and every week, making games that should (or I should say "could") be blowouts into last second wins.
Lucky breaks have definitely played a key role in the Tigers’ 2010 success, but they have also made big plays in critical situations.
The Tigers’ signature win at this point in the season has to be a win in the final moments of the game on the road in “The Swamp” against the Florida Gators.
Jarrett Lee delivered a perfect strike, and Terrence Toliver made a spectacular catch to secure the win for the Tigers, catapulting them into the AP Top 10 for the first time in 2010.
The first rankings may have slighted LSU by a position or two by putting the Tigers at No. 6, but overall are fair and legitimate, with a few exceptions.
Oklahoma and Boise State do not play nearly the level of competition that the Tigers have faced and are going to continue to face, and yet, they are still rewarded in this flawed system.
It would be nice for the system to reward a team for playing ranked competition and beating them rather than mediocre competition and blowing them out.
However, LSU controls their own destiny and in the end will prove that the SEC is the best competition and play for the 2010 BCS title.
With the exception of Oklahoma and Boise State, there are no teams ranked higher than LSU that really don't belong there.
After beating three ranked opponents in their first seven games and going 7-0, the Tigers should be in the top five.
However, with games against Auburn, Alabama and Arkansas still on the schedule, the Tigers control their own destiny regardless of the initial rankings.
With three ranked opponents still on the schedule to finish the season, the Tigers must remain focused every week.
It is hard to see Alabama on your schedule and not think it is the hardest game left, but in my opinion, the game next Saturday vs. No. 5 Auburn is most likely to be the potential let-down game for the Tigers.
Auburn is coming off of a 65-point performance against Arkansas, and LSU has still not resolved its quarterback problems. This puts a lot of pressure on the LSU defense as they face Auburn’s high-powered offense led by quarterback Cam Newton.
If LSU can get out of Auburn with their eighth win, the Tigers will have a much-needed week off before hosting the Alabama Crimson Tide team in a revenge game from 2009, when LSU was denied a chance at a game-winning drive after Patrick Peterson’s interception was reversed by the replay officials.
LSU is led by a highly talented, stacked defense led by tackle Drake Nevis, linebacker Kelvin Sheppard and cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Without the sensational play of the defense, the Tigers would be 4-3 or worse rather than 7-0 and would not even be in the BCS discussion.
LSU’s defense has the depth to overcome injuries if they arise between now and the end of the season, and there is no question that this defense has the ability to stop any offense that the Tigers may face this season.
The Tiger offense also has the talent to compete with anyone in the nation, but they will need to figure out their quarterback situation before this talent can be utilized.
The first BCS Rankings of 2010 are finally out, and the Tigers are ranked at No. 6. This is no surprise, and overall it seems to be a fair ranking.
The Tigers have played three ranked opponents in the first half of the season, and though the wins have not been pretty, they are wins and LSU is 7-0.
The only question marks as far as teams ranked higher than LSU that I do not feel should be are Oklahoma and Boise State.
The argument for these teams is that they win their games convincingly almost every week, but I would challenge anyone to compare a 60-point win over Iowa State to a win against Florida in “The Swamp.”
In my mind, they do not compare, and I think teams that play tough schedules should get a little more credit than they currently do. Instead, the current system rewards teams that play mediocre competition and blow them out and punishes teams that barely beat ranked opponents.
The system is flawed and the national media still drives the rankings rather than comparing competition on the field.
Kirk Herbstreit is on national television campaigning for Boise State, and ESPN also has Rod Gilmore on in prime time talking about how Southeastern Conference teams should not be credited because they are “not as strong as they used to be.”
I guess three teams in the top 10 and six in the top 25 no longer makes you a strong conference?
Give me a break, guys.
I hope that Auburn or LSU gets a shot at Boise State in the BCS title game and beats them like the mediocre team that they are.
If the Tigers can figure out their quarterback situation and put even a modest amount of points on the board, there is little doubt that they can ride their defense to an SEC championship and compete in the BCS championship game.