I know this isn't a sports blog but the college football season got turned on it's ear last night as the number 1 and 2 teams in the country lost, leaving the championship picture wide open. Ohio State at #3 was the big winner as having only one loss, they move into the #1 slot. But then valid arguments could be made for any of the next 8 teams as to who should be #2 and play the Buckeyes for the championship. Georgia is currently #4 so traditionally they should move up to the #2 spot. That's how the polls have always behaved in the past but not now. All the sports media are clamoring for LSU #7 to bounce over everybody, all the way to #2.
"But Ed" you wonder, "how can the media justify LSU breaking the polling tradition and leapfrogging all the other teams into the championship game, when there are arguments for all the other teams to be there too, except maybe for #5 Virginia Tech?"
Well, here's why: Les Miles is the LSU coach and the current darling of the sports media. He's an alum and native of Michigan, he played there, coached under Shembechler, and met his wife on campus. He's also the odds on favorite to take the Michigan head-coaching job, vacated by Lloyd Carr because he couldn't beat Ohio State, Michigan's biggest rival. How perfect a story if Les Miles, in effect, auditioned for the Michigan job by playing Ohio State for the national championship?If he were to prove that he could beat Ohio State on the national championship stage, Michigan would offer him twice the previous offer.
The frothing sports-media jackals have practically an erotic obsession with this story and so they're arguing LSU's angle so they can write about it for the next month and a half. Put it this way, if Les Miles were at Georgia, they'd be arguing the Georgia angle so they could still write the Home-Boy-Returns-to-Michigan-to-Beat-Ohio-State story.
I know, I know, Les Miles said that he'll be back at LSU next year, but if he manages to beat Ohio State and win, Michigan will renew it's offer to get him to come home.
Look, I'll admit that any team in the top 8 or 9 have a legitimate argument for being in the big game, but don't pretend that this is about the rightful team getting there, it's about writing the story that's bigger than the big game itself.