LSU should play in the national championship game as the #2, maybe even the #1 team in the country. Here’s why:
1. Oklahoma lost to Kansas State tonight, and lost quite convincingly. They lose to an opponent ranked 14 spots below them, and do not emerge as the Big 12 Conference champs.
2. LSU has beaten more Top 25 teams than OU or USC. With the win tonight over Georgia in the SEC Championship, the Tigers have now beaten a ranked team four times, versus only two wins each over ranked opponents by the Sooners and Trojans. Sure, LSU beat Georgia twice, but if you want to use the BCS’s own rankings against it, the Bulldogs were a better team the second time around and the Tigers crushed them.
3. LSU and OU had to play one more game this year than USC. Both the SEC and the Big 12 have a championship game, while the PAC 10 does not. OU lost its championship game; LSU won theirs–over a Top 5 opponent. USC annihilated an unranked team in yet another gimme game. Both LSU and OU will end up with one more win than USC. Hello, BCS geniuses…having to win more games counts for something.
4. You can take USC’s “strength of schedule” and go bury it in the backyard. Going back to winning against ranked teams, LSU has a 2-0 lead over the Trojans. Not to mention that Syracuse helped LSU out today with a win over the Fighting Irish (who lost to USC), and at the time of this posting, Boise State was winning against Hawaii (who lost to USC). Suddenly, USC’s schedule isn’t looking too impressive.
UPDATE, 9:45 AM: Boise State crushed Hawaii, 45-28.
Of course, it’s all left up the subjectivity of the pollsters, since the NCAA refuses to institute a playoff system in college football to determine the national champion. With the way the Tigers have been playing since the Auburn game and that convincing win, I’d put them up against anyone in the country right now.