But those weren't the only reasons.
LSU coach Les Miles was high on the list as well.
Following the Tigers' five-point victory at War Memorial Stadium, the second-year head coach said he felt as if his team was the best team in the SEC Western Division.
Hog fans didn't take kindly to that
comment, especially since they will represent the West in the SEC Championship
Game this weekend in
The Hogs had already sewed up the
divisional title (thanks to two earlier league losses for LSU) and had clinched
a berth in the SEC Championship Game with a win over
But a team looking for style
points, Houston Nutt's Razorbacks would have liked another win over a top-10
program like LSU. Then a victory over No. 4 Florida in the SEC Championship Game
may have erased that black-eye of a loss to USC in the season opener and got
At any rate, the Razorbacks now head to the SEC Championship Game with a 10-2 record, the same as LSU's, with the only difference being the Hogs' 7-1 league mark compared to the Tigers' 6-2 conference tilt.
Sure, Razorback fans can take solace in the fact that while LSU danced and celebrated on their field in "Razor Rock" (as they like to call it), the following weekend those same folks will be sitting at home in their Barcaloungers watching the Razorbacks and Gators play for the league crown in the Georgia Dome.
Miles said Friday night he feels like his Tigers' are the best team in the SEC West. We'll go one step further and say LSU could be the best team in the SEC, and probably is – considering that the Tigers went on the road and beat a top-five Arkansas team in a stadium where they have lost only once prior (also to LSU) in the last decade.
And speaking of top-ranked teams, all four trips away from Tiger Stadium this season were to play against "top-eight" teams in arguably four of the nation's toughest venues.
Three of those teams were ranked in the top five at the time LSU played them. The Tigers went 2-2 in those games.
But it's all conjecture, right?
All LSU can do now is sit and wait
to see where the chips fall. All factors indicate the Tigers should be a BCS
at-large selection and play in either the
Orange Bowl officials were waiting
with anxious anticipation outside the locker room in
The two questions that now remain are as follows: (1) Did the Tigers sufficiently state their case with a 10-2 record, 2-2 tilt against top-10 teams and closing out the season with six consecutive victories? and (2) Who stands in the way of the LSU's first BCS bowl game since the 2004 Sugar Bowl, in which the Tigers won the national title?
First and foremost, we'll look at the teams who were in contention and are now out of the mix.
I'll say that Notre Dame is out of the BCS mix only because they should be. In the name of Beano Cook, you know the Fighting Irish will still be considered for a BCS game even after getting pummeled by USC on Saturday night. That now makes two ugly losses for the Gold Domers this season
Oh, and speaking of the Trojans, I know you LSU fans dislike them, but they are going to get to play for it all against Ohio State – that is, unless a very average UCLA team can pull off the monumental upset. (Don't bet on it).
I know Tiger fans would rather spit
than cheer for
In the end, though, Miles' statement still singes the "high-knees" of Razorbacks fans and leaves LSU fans stirring in what could have been. However, as this writer wrote last summer, the best team doesn't always come out ahead. The road schedule was speculated to be the Tigers' Achilles heel (at the time, no one could have imagined how tough it would really turn out to be) and 10-2 was the benchmark for this LSU team.
(Actually, I picked LSU to go 10-2
with losses at
The best team probably isn't
The trip to
This year we took it a step further.
My wife, Beth, and I loaded up and
made the pilgrimage north, stopped and gathered my parents, and headed north to
My parents rarely get to come to
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag magazine. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org