However, the gap between the Tigers and No. 2 Southern Cal got a little bit smaller for the second week as only 1.53 points separate the two teams. This week, the Tigers have an 8.43 point total, while Southern Cal stands at 6.90.
Last week, the Tigers trailed the Trojans by 2.15 points. LSU's point total decreased by 0.61 points after its win over Arkansas, while Southern Cal, who did not play last Saturday, increased by .01 points.
Oklahoma continues to be the nation's consensus No. 1 team. The Sooners have a comfortable lead in the BCS standings with a 2.06 point total, some 4.84 points better than No. 2 Southern Cal.
LSU plays Georgia, who is ranked No. 7 in the BCS, on Saturday for the SEC Championship in Atlanta, while Southern Cal rounds out its season against Oregon State.
Michigan stands in fourth place in the BCS standings with 10.22 points, followed by Ohio State (14.83), Texas (15.18) and Georgia (15.33). Florida State (18.44), Tennessee (20.37) and Miami (Fla.) (20.89) round out the top 10.
Lavalais named finalist for the Outland Trophy
LSU defensive tackle Chad Lavalais is one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, the Football Writers Association of America announced on Monday.
The Outland Trophy annually goes to the top interior lineman in college football and is selected by the FWAA All-America Committee with input from the membership.
The 2003 Outland Trophy winner will be named on Dec. 11 during the ESPN College Football Awards Show in Orlando. The annual presentation banquet, which is sponsored by the Omaha Sports Committee, will be Jan. 8 in Omaha, Neb.
Lavalais, a 6-3, 292 pound senior from Marksville, La., is the leader of one of the nation's best defenses. The Tigers, ranked No. 3 in the nation and 11-1 overall, rank first in the nation in scoring defense (10.7 points per game), second in total defense (260.4 yards per game) and third in rushing defense (67.7 yards per game).
Until last week, no team had scored more than 19 points in a game against LSU and only two teams went over 100 yards rushing in a game against the Tigers this season.
Lavalais leads the Tigers with six sacks and 15 tackles for losses. He's also recorded 21 quarterback pressures, five batted down passes, one interception and one blocked field goal.
Lavalais, a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week this season, has already been named First Team All-America by the Football Writers. He's also one of five finalists for the Nagurski Award, which is presented annually to college football's top defender.
Other finalists include Arkansas offensive tackle Shawn Andrews and Iowa offensive tackle Robert Gallery.
Presented since 1946, the Outland is the third oldest award in major college football behind the Heisman and Maxwell awards. And it is named after the late John Outland who created the award a year before his death.
An All-American lineman at the University of Pennsylvania at the turn of the century, Dr. Outland created the award to recognize linemen. He believed linemen needed more recognition.
The first Outland Award was presented to the late George Connor of Notre Dame.
Lady Tigers set to host Rutgers
LSU's 18th-ranked Lady Tigers basketball team, coming off a four-game road swing to begin the season, opens the home schedule on Tuesday against No. 22 Rutgers at 7 p.m. CST in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The Lady Tigers (2-2) are coming off a 73-51 victory at Rice on Saturday. Sophomore Seimone Augustus led the way with 21 points while senior Temeka Johnson added 12 points and sophomore Treynell Clavelle poured in a career-high nine points and had a career best five boards off the bench.
Rutgers (3-2) is coming off a 69-64 loss at Clemson on Sunday afternoon and fell in the championship game of the Preseason WNIT at Texas Tech last week. The Scarlet Knights are led by guard Cappie Pondexter with 16.2 points and 3.4 assists per game.
There will be a reunion of sorts on the court as RU's Pondexter played this summer with LSU's Augustus and Johnson on the gold medal-winning United States World Championship for Young Women Team in Croatia.
Another storyline is the combined career records of the two head coaches in the game. LSU's Sue Gunter enters the game 17 victories shy of 700 for her career, while Rutger's C. Vivian Stringer holds a career mark of 677-229. Gunter sits third on the NCAA list of winningest women's basketball coaches, while Stringer is fourth.
This will be the third meeting between the two schools. Rutgers won the previous two games, a 85-69 win in 1979 in Miami and a 82-72 win in 1994 in Tucson, Ariz.
Following Tuesday's game, LSU will have 11 days off the final exams before hosting Louisiana-Monroe on Dec. 13 to begin a stretch of six home games in nine days in December.
G 25 Cappie Pondexter 5-9 Jr. 16.2 ppg, 3.4 apg
G 13 Nikki Jett 5-8 Jr. 8.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg
F 34 Michelle Campbell 6-2 So. 8.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg
F 35 Dawn McCullough 5-9 Sr. 12.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg
C 55 Rebecca Richman 6-4 Jr. 3.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg
G 2 Temeka Johnson 5-3 Sr. 12.8 ppg, 4.3 apg
G 45 Doneeka Hodges 5-9 Sr. 10.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
G 33 Seimone Augustus 6-1 So. 18.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg
F 32 Scholanda Hoston 6-1 So. 8.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
F 52 Tillie Willis 6-3 Jr. 3.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg
LSU to give away championship game tickets
The LSU Athletic Department is offering its wild and crazy LSU students a chance to win 18 front row seats at the SEC Football Championship game by attending the LSU-Rutgers women's basketball game on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU students who have dressed up for LSU sports events in the past in costume (i.e., LSU Elvis, Speed racer, Spiderman, Batman, just to name a few) are invited to dress up in costume and attend the LSU Lady Tigers game. During halftime, they will have a chance to show off their costume on the floor of the Assembly Center.
A panel of judges, led by Athletics Director Skip Bertman, will select the zaniest, most creative show of Tiger Spirit to win free front row tickets at the championship football game Saturday, courtesy of Baton Rouge radio station Y-100. Students must have their proper LSU student ID to be eligible for the contest.