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.