LSU’s football regular season may be over, but the Tigers are still playing like a hit song: rising up the charts and getting a ton of airplay.
In the wake of its 31-26 victory Friday at Arkansas and several key upsets this weekend, 10-2 LSU rocketed up five spots to No. 5 in the penultimate BCS standings and replaced the Razorbacks at No. 5 in the major polls.
It is LSU’s highest ranking of the season. The Tigers started No. 8 in the preseason Associated Press poll and got as high as No. 6 before losing to Auburn on Sept. 16. LSU moved steadily from 18th to 10th in the six previous BCS rankings, the first of which was released on Oct. 15.
LSU rose from No. 8 in the Harris Poll and the USA Today coaches’ poll, both of which comprise one-third of the BCS formula.
In the other third — the combined computer rankings — LSU is also at No. 5. The Tigers are ranked No. 5 by four of the six BCS computers (Sagarin, Anderson & Hester, Massey and Wolfe), are No. 6 according to the Colley Matrix and No. 8 according to Billingsley. Each team’s highest and lowest computer ranking is discarded.
LSU got some highlight time on TV Sunday as Fox revealed the BCS top five, led by No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 USC. The Trojans switched places with previous No. 2 Michigan after USC beat Notre Dame 44-24 Saturday.
Florida is at No. 4. The Gators (11-1) will play Saturday in Atlanta in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game against 10-2 Arkansas, which fell from No. 6 to No. 9 in the latest BCS standings.
After that game, part of college football’s final regular season weekend, the bowl parings will be announced. The BCS selection show is set for 7 p.m. Sunday on Fox.
While the Tigers aren’t going to Atlanta — for the SEC title game or the Chick-fil-A Bowl — LSU does head into the bowl season with its highest ranking since being No. 2 in the BCS and the polls at the end of the 2003 regular season.
That ranking guaranteed LSU a spot in the Sugar Bowl — that year’s BCS national championship game. Unfortunately for the Tigers’ BCS hopes, their current lofty rankings don’t assure LSU of anything.
Because it can’t win the SEC, LSU is trying to snag one of the at-large BCS bowl berths.
LSU Athletic Director Skip Bertman expressed interest after Friday’s game of going to the Rose Bowl because of the rare opportunity to play in the game. LSU has never been invited to the Rose, which typically pits the Big Ten and Pac-10 champions.
I don't care what anyone else says, that's one helluva great season, Tigers... We have a great team with a great record who deserve to play in a great BCS bowl game!
UPDATE 12-4-06: BCS pairings have been announced:
National Championship Game (Jan. 8th):
#1 Ohio State vs. #2 Florida (GO GATORS!)
Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 3rd):
#4 LSU vs. #11 Notre Dame (Geaux Tigers!)
Rose Bowl (Jan. 1st): #3 Michigan vs. #5 USC (GO Wolverines!)
UPDATE 1-9-07: The Top 5 rounded out at:
#1 - Florida Gators (SEC)
#2 - Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten)
#3 - LSU Tigers (SEC)
#4 - USC Trojans (Pac-10)
#5 - Boise State Broncos (WAC)
Check out my 2007 Sugar Bowl post: SWEET Domination!.
Check out my 2007 National Championship post: Welcome to SEC Football, Buckeyes!.