The great LSU-USC debate, 2007 edition

The new college football polls are out. In the AP poll, LSU moves ahead of USC by a meaningless margin of 2 points and one first-place vote; the Tigers and Trojans are essentially tied. USC maintains a reasonably comfortable lead in the coaches’ poll. (The new Harris Poll — which, unlike the AP, actually counts for BCS purposes — isn’t out yet.)

Frankly, I agree with the AP on this one. As I said yesterday, I’d have put LSU #1 on my ballot this week, if I had a vote. But it doesn’t really matter anyway. If both teams win out, they’ll play in the title game. It’s only if one or both falters that the race gets interesting.

Apropos of which: Cal is #3, Ohio State #4 and Wisconsin #5 in both polls. South Florida rockets all the way from #18 in both polls to #6 in the AP poll, #9 in the coaches’ poll. Boston College, Kentucky, Florida and Oklahoma make up, in differing orders, the rest of the Top 10.

The Gators clearly have the inside track to the title game among the one-loss teams, IMHO. If they win out, which would entail capturing the SEC crown and probably beating LSU twice in the process, they will certainly be ahead of any other one-loss teams in the pecking order, and possibly ahead of any undefeateds from the Big East as well (though I don’t think it would be justifiable to put them ahead of USF, given the Bulls’ win at Auburn). I imagine there might even be an argument about a one-loss Florida team vs. an undefeated Big Ten or ACC team, given the number of “quality wins” Florida would have to collect along the way (and given how last year turned out).

Anyway, next week’s supposed marquee games will, as it turns out, feature #1/2 LSU vs. #9/7 Florida and #10 Oklahoma vs. #19/16 Texas. Looming larger now are Ohio State-Wisconsin on November 3 (though I suspect the Badgers will lose before then, possibly next week at resurgent Illinois) and USC-Cal on November 10 — the latter a very possible #1 vs. #2 matchup, if both teams win out till then and LSU loses to Florida next week (or to Kentucky, Auburn or Alabama in the weeks that follow).

P.S. Florida’s loss yesterday means one thing for sure: we won’t have to deal with the nightmare scenario of LSU and Florida splitting the season series (i.e., the winner of next week’s game then loses in the SEC title game), each finishing with one loss (to the other), and then arguing over who deserves a spot in the BCS championship game — or even contending that they deserve a championship-game rematch. Now we know for sure that at least one of them will finish with at least two losses. Thank goodness.

3 Responses to “The great LSU-USC debate, 2007 edition”

  1. Sandy Underpants says:

    The polls aren’t that important in September, but really how can Florida drop only 4 spots after losing to an unranked team at home? I thought USC proved how over-rated the SEC is with their total destruction of Auburn and Arkansas (home and away) over a 4 year stretch.

  2. SaveFarris says:

    Who else are you going to put above Florida in order to drop them further? Oklahoma? Texas? West Virginia?

  3. David K. says:

    Ahead of Florida? How about:

    South Carolina (close loss to #2 LSU)

    West Virginia (close loss to #6 South Florida)

    Oregon (close loss to #3 Cal)