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LSU's Longshot Title Hopes Are Bad For College Football

And so it begins.

Les Miles has fired the first shot to position LSU for the national title game should LSU win out and Auburn should stumble (either on or off the field). 

This is what coaches are supposed to do.  They lobby for their teams.  It is part of the deal, and Miles is really good at it.  He may talk funny, but he's already shown he knows how to creative a narrative.  Remember 2007 and "undefeated in regulation"?  The pollsters bought it once...

It is especially crafty of Miles to start the talk now before it is even an issue.  I mean, LSU is a long way from 11-1 (Arkansas is no pushover and Ole Miss currently has a two game winning streak against the Tigers... let's not put those wins in ink just yet).  He's just covering the bases, laying the groundwork.  Just in case.  And don't think that, when push comes to shove, that pollsters might look more favorably on an 11-1 LSU team than a 12-0 Boise team, especially with the specter of impropriety hanging over Auburn.  Miles is slightly more tactful than saying "undefeated against teams that aren't cheating," but that is the undercurrent here. 

I don't like it.  I don't think Jefferswag is entirely wrong here.  There IS an incentive to play a weaker schedule and simply go undefeated than playing a tough gauntlet of a schedule and dropping a game. 

"Those other teams are just coasting through their schedule," LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson said. "They play a few teams that probably can give them a challenge but ... no comparison with what we play every week."

But this is what sucks most about the BCS and college football's insane postseason structure.  It's not entirely about what you do on the field.  It's about how well you lobby.  We can dress up the BCS formula all we want, but it is designed essentially to be the top two teams in the human polls.  It's why the impact of the computers is intentionally minimized.  It's the illusion of an objective mathematical formula not an actual objective formula. 

In 2007, LSU had a better narrative and argued its way to the top of the human polls.  Les Miles is hoping history repeats itself in 2010.  As an LSU fan, I hope against hope LSU somehow sneaks into the title game.  As a college football fan, I know it is just another example of why the BCS is bad for football.    

Even if Auburn and Oregon win out, it's still an issue.  Even if LSU (or Wisconsin or Stanford or Ohio St or whoever) fail to win out, it's still an issue.  Just because the BCS nightmare scenaro didn't play out, it doesn't mean the system is a good idea.  It encourages these sort of comments from coaches, lobbying for their teams.  It encourages Wisconsin to run up the score on hapless foes, in order to look more impressive to pollsters.  It encourages the beauty contest.

It shouldn't be about rewarding teams for playing weak schedules.  It shouldn't be about lobbying the pollsters.  It shouldn't be about running up the score.  It shouldn't be part of a coach's job to be a press agent.  But it is.  And that makes me sort of sad.