Les Miles has a change of heart
LSU coach Les Miles drew the ire of Pac 10 fans by insisting that theirs was the easiest road to the BCS championship game. The comment came in reference to the Trojans making consecutive appearances in 2004 and 2005, coming from a conference he referred to as “USC and the little-9”. Since that time, the SEC has appeared in four consecutive title games, and the Pac 10 has been shut out. In three of those four years, the Pac 10 champion possessed a win/loss record identical to the SEC qualifier.
Either the “Mad Hatter” took an early dig at the Pac 10 to screen his own failure to immediately lead the Tigers back to the BCS spotlight game, or it actually took him four years to realize that one of the easiest paths is paved through the SEC.
“If you come out and win your division, that puts you in the (SEC) championship game and that’s a clear path to the national championship,” he said. “What a great, clear path that is.”–Les Miles
BCS Championship Game appearances by conference
Alabama is the only undefeated SEC program that has played for a National Championship, with Auburn being snubbed in 2004. But in comparison, the Pac 10 and Big East qualifiers both needed to be perfect to reach the game. It’s a double elimination tournament being played in some conferences, where others are bounced from consideration with a single loss. And if you’re Big East Cincinnati, who also finished the 2009 season unbeaten, you were eliminated for not being a Longhorn or Crimson Tide.
Four years after claiming USC would be in “knock-down drag-outs with Washington, UCLA, Stanford and Cal before reaching the championship game”, Miles finally gets it. Maybe it’s because LSU opened 2009 with a knock-down drag-out battle in Seattle, or he finally has a better understanding of how the system works. The road to the BCS championship game is based on the popularity of the opponent, and not the conference they exist in. None are more popular than those in the SEC.