Les Miles, head coach of LSU
The Coaches' Poll is out, and LSU finds itself in a flat-footed tie with Alabama with 1,404 points—just 30 points behind the reigning No. 1 team in the nation, the Oklahoma Sooners who are No. 1 for the fifth straight week.
The Tigers picked up 20 first place votes, just 12 less than Oklahoma and for my money, have been the No. 1 team in the nation all season long.
The AP has ranked LSU No. 1, unseating the Sooners from the top spot after their struggle with Missouri in Oklahoma this weekend.
Here are five reasons LSU should have topped both polls this week.
The Tigers went into to 2011 with the plan that Jordan Jefferson would be their starter.
Though he struggled with TDs to INTs last season, Jefferson had a commanding presence, a huge arm and explosive ability that Les Miles was hoping to harness to bring LSU's offense to a higher level.
Just prior to the start of the 2011 season, Jefferson was suspended indefinitely for his role in a bar fight. That meant that heading into a huge opening week game against Oregon, Jarrett Lee was forced into the start.
The team responded by beating the Ducks in a matchup of top five teams, and Lee has looked every bit the starting quarterback for LSU.
The SEC is the best league in the nation, and LSU already has a conference win against a tough opponent in Mississippi State.
At the time of the game, MSU was ranked No. 25, and the Tigers held the Bulldogs to just six points in front of the MSU fans.
The Sooners play in the Big 12 and opened conference play this weekend. They struggled to put away Missouri, a team that was ranked earlier in the season, but has struggled in the early going.
The Sooners won their only real test, a road game against Florida State. However, how good was that win?
Since the game, the Seminoles dropped their second straight against Clemson this week, the No. 21 team in the nation at the time.
LSU continues to face top-level opponents, beating Oregon in Week 1 and over the past two weeks has defeated top 25 teams on the road at Mississippi State and West Virginia.
Although you could argue that the win against Mississippi State was along the lines of the Missouri game for OU, the key difference is that LSU went on the road to beat Mississippi State.
If you want to say the Florida State win for OU was more impressive than the Oregon win for LSU, you must also remember that the win was a neutral site for LSU, and it was in Week 1 with the backup quarterback playing for LSU.
Oklahoma's defense did look good in the Tulsa and Florida State game, but was exposed this weekend by Missouri's dual-threat quarterback, James Franklin who ran for over 100 yards.
Though they did a good job against E.J. Manual, the FSU quarterback was knocked out with a shoulder injury in the second half of the game.
LSU's defense has been impressive all year. They held the Oregon Ducks to 27 points in the opener, which doesn't sound great until you consider that the Ducks nearly double that output in scoring average, at 52 per game.
When you remove that game, Oregon averages 60 points per game!
LSU held Mississippi State to six points, and West Virginia's high octane offense to 21 points. In that game, they held WVU to seven at the half, and shut them out in the fourth quarter of the game.
On offense, Oklahoma has yet to completely settle down with Landry Jones throwing four interceptions in the young season, while LSU continues to use a balanced attack to put up points, and limit mistakes.
To that point, Jarrett Lee was interception free on Saturday night, and Lee has been picked off just once this season.
The BCS is the only truly unbiased poll in the nation. While you can argue whether computers should be involved in college football's championship process, it is still inarguable that all the computer does is crunch numbers to rank teams mathematically.
To that point, if the BCS Poll did come out today, I believe LSU would top it.
Although the Coaches' Poll is used (where LSU is ranked No. 2) and the AP Poll is not (where LSU tops the list), the computer polls that are used would rank LSU higher because of their quality wins. The Harris Interactive would most likely look closer to the AP Poll due to these impressive wins, and those wins figure well into the mathematical formula that the computer polls use.