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.
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Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35