LSU highest-ranked 1-loss team in BCS
October, 14, 2012
By Gary Laney | ESPN.com
Powered by its best win of the season over South Carolina, LSU checked in at No. 6 in the first BCS rankings released Sunday night -- making it the highest-ranked of the nation's one-loss teams.
The Tigers (6-1), also ranked sixth in both polls released Sunday, got a bump with Saturday's 23-21 win over the Gamecocks in a game LSU statistically dominated.
Fueled by the nation's No. 2-ranked defense (219.6 yards per game), the Tigers are off to a 2-1 start in the SEC despite scoring just 41 points in the three games. But LSU's first five wins before South Carolina was against a light schedule.
LSU's first five wins came against opponents unranked by the BCS, with a combined 10-21 record. That included a lone SEC win over an Auburn team that's now 1-5.
The light schedule has changed in recent weeks. Last week, the Tigers lost to an unbeaten Florida team that's ranked No. 2 in the BCS. On Saturday, the Tigers beat a South Carolina team that checked in at No. 7 in the first BCS rankings.
The good news for the Tigers going forward is that they face a schedule heavy on highly ranked BCS opponents -- a road that is difficult but presents the LSU with a huge opportunity to climb higher in the BCS rankings. Its next three games:
- At No. 18 Texas A&M
- Home vs. No. 1 Alabama
- Home vs. No. 12 Mississippi State.
Of the five teams ranked ahead of LSU, the Tigers control their destiny against two of them. The Nov. 3 game against Alabama in a rematch of last season's BCS national championship game is obviously huge. Florida cannot likely stay ahead of a one-loss LSU team in the rankings without winning the SEC East, meaning LSU could potentially get a rematch with the Gators in the SEC championship game.
That leaves three teams the Tigers are ranked behind that LSU has no control over: No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Kansas State and No. 5 Notre Dame. So long as two of those three teams lose, the Tigers' path back to the BCS title game is somewhat clear, although not easy.
Stadium upgrades spike SEC attendance
11:00 AM ET Nevada Louisiana-Lafayette 2:20 PM ET Utah State UTEP 3:30 PM ET 22 Utah Colorado State 5:45 PM ET Western Michigan Air Force 9:15 PM ET South Alabama Bowling Green
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State