Louisiana-Monroe-LSU Preview

One big victory has changed the appearance of a season for

LSU.

After upsetting Alabama last Saturday, the Tigers have jumped to

No. 5 in both the AP Poll and in the latest BCS standings.

LSU is the highest rated one-loss team in the BCS. However, the

Tigers have an uphill climb in order to have a chance of winning

the Southeastern Conference title.

First, LSU (8-1) needs unbeaten Auburn to lose its two remaining

SEC games against Georgia and Alabama. Second, LSU must win its

remaining league games against Ole Miss and Arkansas to represent

the Western Division in the SEC title game.

”We are in good position,” LSU coach Les Miles said Monday

afternoon. ”But, as in the past, we need to improve. We didn’t

play a perfect game against Alabama. We have to get better.”

The Tigers will probably know when they take the field for their

game against Louisiana-Monroe (4-5) on Saturday night whether their

SEC title hopes remain alive. Auburn and Georgia will kick off

their game 3 1/2 hours before LSU hosts ULM.

”Somebody will probably let me know the score,” Miles said.

”There is not any way that our team won’t have interest in that

score. There may be a favorite we might cheer for.

”But, we have no control over how Georgia will prepare for and

play against Auburn. We are not going to worry about it at all. The

issue is about us. We are going to work as hard as we can and hope

like hell.”

While Miles didn’t downplay the significance of his team’s 24-21

victory against defending national champion Alabama, he also added,

”I am done celebrating. My 48 hours are over. I feel that our

preparation (for ULM) is in earnest. Our football team will

understand that.”

Once again, the Tigers used some gadget plays to pull out a

victory. The most significant one was a reverse to tight end

Deangelo Peterson on a fourth-and-1 at Alabama’s 26 with LSU

trailing 14-13. Peterson gained 23 yards. Three plays later, Stevan

Ridley scored the go-ahead touchdown.

If LSU continues to win and one or more of the four unbeaten

Football Bowl Subdivision teams lose, it could move higher in the

BCS standings.

”Our football team is enjoying the position it is in,” Miles

said. ”It earned that position. We have been on the sidelines on

the point of the BCS conversation, including being an underdog in

our own stadium” against Alabama.

”I am not ready to lobby for our team at this point,” Miles

added. ”The interest is in how we finish. At some point, I’ll

lobby hard for the best team in the SEC, no matter who it is.”