MULE': It's Good To Be King

Memo to the naysayers from Mike VI: "It's good to be the king."

What is it with you guys? LSU now rules the college football world! Has since, oh, about 11:30 p.m. Monday. Don't you get it?

Just at the end of the coverage of the coronation, ESPN's Chris Fowler made that snide remark, the one about the title not being crystal clear – said just as the Tigers were hoisting the Waterford Crystal trophy, whose very possession was a proclamation that LSU is No. 1.

There was nothing murky, as Fowler characterized it, about who was the last team standing from the 2007 season. It is clear that, in the sport's wildest season, it is hands-down the Bayou Bengals. Anyone who can't see that is looking at the situation with blurred vision.

This is not a partisan counter-attack. It is common sense.

All but one of the top eight teams in the country have two losses, same as LSU. But the Tigers defeated seven ranked teams, more than any of the others. Kansas, the only one-loss team in the country, played one of the nation's weakest schedules, one which included Central Michigan, Toledo and Southeastern Louisiana but missed its own conference rivals Texas and Oklahoma.

Why would Southern Cal deserve LSU's spot in the BCS title game, as Michael Wilbon, co-host of "Pardon the Interruption," the ESPN show in which he and fellow Washington, D.C., sportswriter Tony Kornheiser compete daily for the title of fastest mouth alive, contended?

The Trojans not only lost two games, but one was the worst upset of all-time, according to the oddsmakers, 24-23 to 41-point underdog Stanford. LSU's entrée to the title game was this: a sterling combat record against ranked teams, finishing with five victories against Top 15 opponents; USC beat no one in the top tier of college football. USC is a good and dangerous opponent that no one could take lightly. The Trojans' greatest credential, however, it seems is being a media darling located in the media metropolis of Los Angeles.

If, say, Texas A&M or Pittsburgh or Wichita State had the same resume' as USC does, would anyone really believe there would be an outcry that any of them deserved a shot at the Waterford Crystal trophy?

Should Georgia, who not only lost two games but two games against opponents LSU defeated, have had the Tigers' berth?

What is it with the "Worldwide Leader in Sports"? If ESPN's talking heads are not running pell-mell with erroneous news stories, these "experts" are analyzing situations with wrong – or incomplete – data.

This shouldn't be rocket science. All we expect is a somewhat accurate evaluation of one prominent football team over a period of months. But only one ESPN anchor, Mark May, ever seemed to grasp the notion that a healthy LSU was a pretty decent team.


Anyone is entitled to an honest opinion, obviously. But it was hard to believe we were getting truly honest insights when week after week, with the exception of the Middle Tennessee State and Tulane games, we saw Lou Holtz spitting out his views on why LSU won't win. After awhile, you had to wonder if Holtz just didn't get it. Or if he's getting senile.

Same with Lee Corso, the funny guy for the two straight men on "GameDay." For weeks leading up to the BCS championship, Corso kept repeating that Ohio State had the best offensive line in the country and that LSU's defense couldn't handle it. No argument there; it was a reasonable assessment. There had to be some balance, however, because the Tigers couldn't have won as many games – against as many good teams – as they did without some ability. That part of the equation, though, was not addressed.

As a national columnist assessed while watching Corso, Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit on screen one day during the week leading up to the title game, "Those guys aren't football analysts, they're the Three Stooges!"

Just to show that all the jokers aren't on ESPN, though, add political opportunist Dr. Michael Adams to the list of post-BCS jokers. Adams is the president of the University of Georgia – a man so out of touch that he couldn't understand the popularity of Vince Dooley, who coached the Bulldogs to their only consensus national championship and who had the second highest number of victories in SEC history. So he forced Dooley out of the athletic director's chair at UGA.

Apparently in trying to make nice-nice with some of the Bulldog Nation, Adams now has decided we need something more than the BCS to determine No. 1 teams.

The reason, of course, is that UGA fans – thus, Dr. Adams – irrationally thought the 'Dogs should have punched a ticket to the championship game. Adams' hand-wringing would have been far more believable had he spoken up last year, when LSU was the hot team at season's end and playing in the Sugar Bowl – just as Georgia did this time – while Florida and Ohio State met in the BCS game.

He would have been more believable if he had murmured even a peep two years ago, when undefeated Auburn was left at the altar.

What we got was University of Florida president Bernie Muchen offering a proposal last year to his fellow SEC CEOs to consider a playoff system.

Dr. Adams declined to support it.

You know, some of this stuff couldn't be written by Mel Brooks.


Marty Mule' can be reached at

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