LSU, USC to play for title?

A one-loss team from the Southeastern Conference meets an unbeaten opponent in the BCS national championship game. It happened in 2007, and at least one college football analyst thinks it'll happen again in 2008.

In a piece called "Ridiculously Early 2008 BCS Projections," Pete Fiutak of collegefootballnews.com projects that an undefeated and top-ranked Southern Cal team will face a once-beaten and second-ranked LSU team for all the marbles come January.

This is a similar scenario to the one that played out last season, when an unbeaten and top-ranked Ohio State team faced a once-beaten and second-ranked Florida team in the BCS title game.

Here's how Fiutak explains the USC-LSU projection:

"The storylines are just way too juicy. The 2003 national title game that never was. LSU comes full-circle after the Katrina disaster and plays for the national championship in what would amount to a home game. (You thought the 2004 Sugar Bowl sold out in a hurry?) The 2006 BCS game that should've happened, but didn't. Take your pick.

"USC will be just about everyone's number one going into the season, but the schedule isn't going to make it easy with five brutal road trips to Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Cal and Arizona State (and six if you think last year's Washington close-call wasn't a fluke). LSU will hit a bump in the road, like almost all great SEC teams do, but it'll be given the benefit of the doubt thanks to Florida's performance in the last BCS National Championship. Don't count out Virginia Tech. Talk about your storyline matchups, a rematch of the Tigers vs. the Hokies, who face each other early in the year, would get everyone in the sports world buzzing."

With LSU projected to play in the BCS Championship Game, the Southeastern Conference champ will not be available to host the Sugar Bowl. As a result, Fiutak pegs Michigan and Hawaii as the likely combatants in New Orleans. Tennessee is among five options he lists for a berth.

Fiutak's picks for the other BCS bowls are: Wisconsin vs. UCLA in the Rose, Louisville vs. Texas in the Fiesta and Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia in the Orange.


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