LSU solid No. 2 in coaches' poll
NEW YORK -- The first piece of the BCS puzzle has been revealed and LSU appears to be a good bet to join Ohio State in the national championship game.
The USA Today coaches' poll released Sunday had Ohio State as a comfortable No. 1, which was no surprise. The Buckeyes received 46 first-place votes and 1,469 points.
LSU, the Southeastern Conference champions which less than two weeks ago lost for the second time, was a solid No. 2 in the coaches' poll. The Tigers had 1,418 points.
The Bowl Championship Series uses the coaches' poll, the Harris poll and a compilation of computer ratings to determine which teams play in the national title game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans.
The two polls count for two-thirds of a team's BCS average, and points received, not just rankings, are taken into account. The computer ratings make up the other third of a team's BCS average.
BCS analyst Jerry Palm said Sunday in a phone interview that Ohio State and LSU are both likely to be among the top three teams in the computer ratings. If so, it would take a dramatic difference in the Harris poll to keep LSU from grabbing the second spot in the final BCS standings and a matchup with Ohio State at the Superdome.
"Unless Oklahoma is No. 1 and USC is No. 2 ... Unless we see something totally off the wall in the Harris poll," Palm said LSU is safe.
The Harris poll was due out later Sunday and the BCS matchups were to be revealed Sunday night.
Oklahoma was a distant third in the coaches' poll with 1,331 points, followed by Georgia (1,277 points), Virginia Tech (1,242 points) and Southern California (1,227 points).
After Missouri and West Virginia lost Saturday night, it opened the way for a team with two losses to play for a BCS national championship for the first time.
Barring another wacky turn of events in a season full of them, LSU will be the lucky two-time loser.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press