Appearing in an ESPN interview with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit yesterday, LSU coach Les Miles sounded off on everything from Cam Cameron’s impact on the Tiger offense to Tyrann Mathieu’s pro potential.
But it’s what the coach didn’t say about LSU’s 2013 schedule — aside from an opening joke that drew laughs from Herbstreit — that should be noted:
“Certainly they’re putting us in a position to play in either division. You know, we’ll play certainly the toughest schedule in the West and they’re picking the best teams that they can to give us out of the East.
I have to be honest with you, we kind of accept that schedule. We look forward to the competition. We like to think that maybe there’s only one team in the country that could go through it and kind of look forward to it.”
The SEC once again cut a transitional schedule for 2013. At some point in the near future the league is expected to create a new scheduling rotation of eight league games per team per year (though we still believe a nine-game slate is inevitable). But the last two years have been hodge-podged together and that’s raised complaints from schools who’ve had to travel to the same opponent in back-to-back years, from schools who’ve been forced to play the best teams outside their division, and from schools who’ve felt their chief rivals did not have to play the best teams outside their division.
Given an opportunity to open up on national television, Miles didn’t whine. He didn’t moan. He didn’t cry.
Granted, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva has done his share of bellyaching about the league’s need to do away with permanent cross-division rivalries, but Miles wouldn’t take the bait when Fowler and Herbstreit pointed out the Tigers’ drew Florida (home) and Georgia (away) from the East.
Instead he responded with what we assume is his message to his team: “We’re the only team that could pull this kind of thing off.” Kudos.
A tough schedule isn’t always something to cry about. Miles and LSU should know better than anyone that a rough slate of games can actually open the door to BCS glory.
It was just six Januarys ago that the Tigers were handed a slot in the BCS Championship Game despite having two losses on their ledger. They took advantage of that opportunity, whipped Ohio State, and gave Miles his only crystal football to date.
With LSU’s schedule in 2013, a loss — maybe even two — might not close the door completely on the Tigers’ title hopes.