Pipe down on the Sugar Bowl hype

What a difference a weekend makes? <br><br> One week after LSU looked to be cemented in the No. 7 spot in the BCS poll with no chance of rising any higher, the unpredictability of college football reared its untimely head. <br><br> Many though the top teams in the BCS would ride out of the rest of the season, with possibilities of falling, but for the most part, a late season shakeup would be unlikely. That could not be farther from the truth.

A struggling Tennessee team would be little match for Miami, a Hurricane team that just experienced its first regular season loss in almost three years. No way mighty Miami could lose two in a row. The Volunteers mustered just enough offense and played opportunistically on defense to escape the Orange Bowl with a 10-6 victory.


Next, lowly Clemson had chance to knock off Florida State – even in Death Valley (Death Valley? Yeah Right!).


The Seminoles were playing like Bobby Bowden's boys of yesteryear – FSU appeared to be back in the national title hunt, the past few years being a distant memory. No way could the younger Tommy Bowden best his old man.


Yep, you guessed it.


Tommy Bowden got his first win in five tries against his father in what has become Bowden Bowl. The Tigers frustrated FSU into a 26-10 defeat ending the Noles hopes of a national title.


And if things couldn't get any better for LSU, Pittsburgh held on to upend high-flying Virginia Tech, just one week removed from the Hokies monumental win over Miami.


In one short day of college football, a day in which the Tigers were able to enjoy some down time, LSU leapt from No. 7 in the BCS to a lofty fourth and eased its way to No. 3 in both major college football polls, the school's highest ranking since 1961.


The fun now begins.


People in Baton Rouge are already beginning talk of LSU's chances to make its second Sugar Bowl in three years, this time to play for the national title. Stranger things have already happened and a few more wild weekends might allow coach Nick Saban and his Tigers to dance down Bourbon Streets to play for all the marbles.


Ohio State, ranked above LSU in the third spot, still has to play dangerous Purdue and has a date with rival Michigan. The Buckeyes have been begging to lose all season and it just might happen in one of these next two games.


The wildcard is Southern California. USC looks poised to land in the title game, but still has games against Arizona (HA, fat chance!) and pesky Oregon State. The best chance for the Trojans to lose may fall in a rivalry matchup with hated UCLA.


Oklahoma is destined for the Nokia Sugar Bowl and is an outright favorite to win the Sears Trophy for the second time in four years.


Talk of a possible national championship appearance grew quite in the wake of LSU's 19-7 loss to Florida, but has since been rekindled with the Tigers hot streak on the field and in the polls. But before anyone can utter words national title or Sugar Bowl, LSU must first concentrate on winning the SEC Western Division.


It seems hard to believe right now that LSU is ranked just second in the West behind 6-0 Ole Miss. But the Rebels are surging right now and are unbeaten in the SEC this late in the season for the first time since the early 1960s. The Rebs are basking in the glow of a 24-20 win over Auburn last Saturday and are primed for a showdown with LSU in two weeks.


But before the Tigers make the trip to Oxford, LSU must deal with reeling Alabama, who would love to spoil the party for the Tigers. If LSU is successful in Tuscaloosa and manage to escape Ole Miss with a "W," there still remains that always-unpredictable game with Arkansas on the day after



Remember, LSU can beat Bama and Johnny Reb, but a loss on Nov. 29 would give Ole Miss their first SEC West crown in school history. The pressure is squarely upon the shoulders of the Tigers as they control their own destiny.


As Saban and his players are preaching, each week is a one game season. That not only goes for the coaches and players, that is directed to the fans as well.


Next week means nothing if you don't take care of the task at hand. 

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