LSU ignores ratings, focuses on Arkansas



Another Day, Another Dollar
Mar 1, 2002
There are enough people working on the formulas, the scenarios, the possibilities.

Louisiana State will just play the games and let the national championship picture take care of itself.

"I know that it is difficult to sometimes understand, but you want your team to play well all the time and focus on execution and fundamental things that are going to help them play well," Coach Nick Saban said. "I think sometimes when you start thinking about all that other stuff it is just kind of clutter that can affect your ability to prepare, focus, and have the kind of poise and discipline that you need to be able to do the things that you need to do well in a game to have success."

One thing everyone knows, if No. 3 LSU (10-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) is going to have any chance at the national championship it must win two more games, beginning Friday with Arkansas.

If the Tigers beat Arkansas (8-3, 4-3) the next step would be winning the SEC championship game Dec. 6 at the Georgia Dome. After that it's a matter of computer formulas, strength-of-schedule ratings and quality-win bonuses that will settle whether LSU or Southern Cal -- each with one loss -- will play in the Sugar Bowl.

Saban likes the bowl system that's now in place. It gives many schools a chance to have post-season success, he said.

"The one thing special about college football unlike high school or pro ball is that there is an opportunity for a lot of people to get some positive self-gratification with the opportunity to go to a bowl game," Saban said. "In high school, you just have one state champion and in the NFL just a Super Bowl winner and everyone else just kind of fails."

Saban would like to see the bowls also decide the two or four teams that would then be in a playoff to settle the national title. But he says he can live with the BCS.

"I think, short of having some kind of a playoff system, there's always gonna be, from a subjective standpoint, some area to criticize how we pick the best team," Saban said. "There's gotta be some way to decide. And I know a lot of good football people have spent a lot of time trying to improve the system and make it better. And for right now, it probably is the best."

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