Here are some of the arguments I've run through my head. They may not be coherent enough to send off yet. So if you have some corrections or modifications, please submit them. If you have things that have been left out, please let us know! 1. BCS poll -- LSU has played #7 UGA,#14 Florida,#20 Ole Miss and destroyed #24 Arkansas 55-24 on Friday, knocking them out of the top 25. The SECCG will pit LSU against #7 UGA again. USC has played #16 Washington State only. 2. ESPN/Coaches Poll -- LSU has played #5 UGA ,#16 UF, #18 Ole Miss, and knocked Arkansas down to #37 Friday. The SECCG will be against a #5 UGA. USC has played #14 Washington State and that's it. Those are the only two games against top 40 opponents. LSU: 5, USC: 1. LSU plays two top 10 games. USC zero. 3. AP poll -- LSU has played #5 Georgia, #16 UF, #17 Ole Miss, and knocked Arkansas down to #38 on Friday. LSU will play #5 UGA for the second time in the SECCG. USC played #15 Washington State and no one else in their poll. 4. LSU's only loss this year was to #16 Florida. 5. USC's only loss was to an average (not top 40), 6 loss Cal team. 6. Let's place the opponents of LSU and USC side by side. We will use UGA twice since LSU plays them twice. Some might argue with this, but beceause the SECCG can hurt a team greatly (Cf. 2001 SECCG when LSU knocked Tennessee out of the national championship game), there seems no logical reason to not count the SECCG. Because LSU plays 13 games and USC only plays 12 games, we cannot compare Western Illinois. We will use the BCS rankings in order to see who is favored. Listed in toughest to easiest order. Team at the right is favored team. #5 UGA vs. #16 Washington State: UGA favored. #5 UGA vs. #35 Auburn: UGA beat Auburn. #14 Florida vs. #39 Notre Dame (how the heck is 5-6 ND #39?!): Florida favored. #20 Ole Miss vs. #42 Cal: Ole Miss favored. #31 Arkansas vs. #44 Oregon State: Arkansas favored. #35 Auburn vs. #51 UCLA: Auburn favored. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- #62 South Carolina vs. #54 Washington : Washington favored. #68 Alabama vs. #56 Hawaii: Hawaii won. #77 LA Tech vs #67 Stanford: Stanford favored. #89 Arizona vs #72 Arizona State: Arizona State won. #95 Mississippi State vs #74 BYU: BYU favored. #117 ULM vs. #89 Arizona: Arizona favored. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Western Illinois: No USC opponent to compare with. Breaking this down, it's a tie. LSU's opponents are favored in six games. USC's opponents are favored in six games. But here comes the interesting part: All 6 of LSU's top opponents are favored. All 6 of USC's weakest opponents are favored. LSU's toughest six should beat USC's toughest six. LSU's 6th toughest opponent, Auburn, is USC's 2nd toughest opponent. A top 5 team should be able to #60 as easily as #117. Should the strength of schedule consider beating #117 and #1 as indicative as beating #60 and #61? Would you be more impressed if LSU had beaten #1 Oklahoma and #117 Louisiana Monroe or if LSU beat #60 North Texas and #61 Tulsa? LSU's being hurt greatly because of its bottom half schedule. But a great team is made by winning the tough games, which LSU has done. Beating a bunch of 45-75 teams is nice for your strength of schedule, but it does nothing to prove that your team deserves a shot at the national title. Especially when there's another team that is 4-1 against top 40 competition, and if LSU beats UGA, will be 5-1. To put it another way, LSU's top 6 opponents outrank USC's top 6 opponents by 117 positions. But that advantage is all but erased when USC makes up 96 positions with its bottom 6 opponents. LSU's top 6 opponents average a ranking of 18.3. USC's top 6 opponents average a ranking of 37.8. LSU's bottom 6 opponents average a ranking of 84.7. USC's bottom 6 opponents average a ranking of 68.7. 7. LSU, if they beat UGA, will have won the SEC, this year's toughest conference according to the polls and computers. LSU will have done it by beating the #2 SEC team twice. USC won the Pac 10, a traditionally powerful conference. This year, however, the Pac 10 only has two teams ranked in the top 40. The MAC, for example, has four teams ranked in the top 40. The Pac 10 is ranked any where from 4th to 6th as the nation's toughest conference. 8. If LSU were to beat any team ranked #5 in the SEC Championship Game (UGA's ranking) that they had not played during the season, LSU would be guaranteed a spot in the Sugar. How fair is it that playing the #5 team in the nation not does not help LSU's BCS standing? Beating one of the best teams in the nation, UGA, twice may leave LSU without any quality win bonus points. 9. The opinion of other teams who have played LSU and USC (Arizona) and LSU and Oklahoma (Alabama). After all, wouldn't they know better than any of us? Arizona's Clay Hart said after this year's game with USC that the Trojans "were really good. But personally, I think LSU was the best team we’ve faced since I’ve been a Wildcat.” Alabama's QB, Brodie Croyle, after the LSU game said, "They’re every bit as good as Oklahoma." Offensive lineman Atlas Herrion said, "They’re both pretty much the same. LSU’s front seven is a little bigger. They’ve got speed just like Oklahoma has speed." Alabama's coach, Coach Shula, said LSU and Oklahoma are "neck and neck." 10. LSU average margin over victory is about 25 points per game. USC's average margin of victory is about 23 points per game. So much for the media and USC fans saying that USC blows out the competition while LSU isn't nearly as impressive in wins. 11. LSU does not run up the score on its opponents. Take last week's Arkansas game. Up 55-17 in the third quarter, TV announcers intimated that LSU was trying to run up the score to impress voters. But if LSU were trying to do so, why did the entire first string offensive and defensive teams sub out for part of the third and the entire fourth quarter? LSU had several easy opportunities to score in the 4th quarter, but chose instead to run the same run play over and over again, even on 4th and long when easy field goals could be made. LSU also took out its starters at the end of the third quarters in such games as the Auburn game -- a game LSU was up 31-0 during the third quarter. USC on the other hand was only up 16-0 when the fourth quarter began in that game, and kept its entire first team in to preserve the win in a game that was not decided until the fourth quarter. 12. Despite playing W. Illinois, a win which only hurts LSU because W. Illinois is 0-3 against Div I teams, and 1-11 ULM, LSU's SoS will still be stronger than USC's in the computer polls at the end of the year! Throw out those two teams from LSU's SoS, and it's not even close! Replace them with equally easy games against BYU and LSU's SoS goes way up. For those who complain about LSU's Out of Conference schedule, LSU scheduled Marshall. Marshall backed out at the last minute this summer, and LSU scrambled to pick up W. Illinois. LSU scheduled 6-6 Troy State, but they were replaced by 1-11 Louisiana Monroe. 13. LSU's top 1/3 of its schedule far outweighs USC's. LSU is 3-1 against top 40 teams. LSU will play its 5th top 40 game in UGA in the SECCG, a game that won't help LSU in the BCS strength of schedule component for some odd technical reasons. That means LSU will play two games against teams that finish in the top #10. USC has only played ONE top 40 team, and zero teams in the top 10. LSU plays 5 games against top 40 teams, and two games against top 10 teams. USC will play only 1 game against top 40 competition, and 0 against the top 10. If you're looking for the team to give OU the biggest challenge, shouldn't you give it to the chance to the team that's had to prove itself throughout the season? Isn't that the precise reason why other one loss teams like TCU, Miami (OH), and Boise State are not highly regarded by the human polls? 14. LSU's middle 1/3 of its schedule is about the same as USC's. Both of the middle 1/3 schedules average opponents around #55 in most rankings. 15. LSU's bottom 1/3 schedule hurts them tremendously. A game against a team like BYU is an easy win. Easy is easy. Why should a team be kept out of a national title because it played another easy team that happens to be ranked at the bottom? Is there that much difference between #110 and #80? Not much. A top 5 team should win both games with equal ease. But according to the BCS strength of schedule component, LSU playing #110 while USC plays #80 effects our SoS exactly the same amount as LSU playing the #5 team (which will happen for the second time in the SECCG while USC plays #35 (which would be TEN spots better than USC's second toughest opponent!). Should it have the same effect on the SoS as LSU beating #5 when USC beats #35? Which is more impressive? And despite LSU being hurt enormously by this weak 1/3, LSU's strength of schedule is almost equal to USC's! 16. What's USC's argument for being ranked #2? Is it as strong as LSU's? It seems the most prevalent arguments are that "USC is clearly better than LSU" and "USC has better athletes." But what support do the people who make these claims have? It seems when you make such statements you should at least give a little bit of reasoning, else it is at best an arbitrary, and at worst, a biased opinion.