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The Great Debate

November 23, 2003|Jay Christensen; Jim Rhode

THERE'S A CHANCE THAT LOUISIANA

STATE COULD PASS USC IN THE BOWL

CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES STANDINGS AND

PLAY OKLAHOMA FOR THE NATIONAL

CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE SUGAR BOWL.

ARE THE TIGERS MORE DESERVING

THAN THE TROJANS?

POINT: Anybody with access to a remote control (have such devices been made available yet in Louisiana?) believes that the Trojans are the team to take on the Sooners. Unfortunately Trojan fans, I'm here to tell you why your team could get aced out. It has nothing to do with the BCS or the price of sugar. It does, however, have everything to do with where the game will be played: New Orleans. As in Louisiana. As in the state that lent the book on corrupt politics to Chicago. Don't doubt yourself for a second: Louisiana's impact goes far beyond its borders. Just this last week, an energy bill working through Congress had tied to it tax-free bonds to construct a mall in Shreveport, La., with a Hooters Foods Inc. restaurant. No wonder Democrats said the bill was for "Hooters and polluters." Now if these snake-oil salesmen can even come close to pulling something like this off, getting the Tigers into the Sugar Bowl should be as easy as brushing your tooth. Don't be surprised if you see a relative of Huey Long flipping the coin at the Sugar Bowl.

-- Jay Christensen

COUNTERPOINT: The possibility that LSU could go back porch into a national championship game that's virtually being held in its backyard (the Louisiana Superdome) would have been a made-to-order conspiracy theory for New Orleans' most renowned district attorney, Jim Garrison. Here are some of the facts that are before us. Yes, LSU did defeat two of its common opponents with USC -- Auburn and Arizona -- by a combined margin of two points more than the Trojans. But for their third game of the season, the Tigers took on the Leathernecks of Western Illinois, one of the few, the proud of Division I-AA. This alone should disqualify LSU from playing for the national championship. In the whole wide world of Division I-A, the Tigers couldn't find one creampuff like they did for their season opener with Louisiana Monroe, which went on to win one of 12 games. If there's any BCS justice, LSU will lose next week to Arkansas or in the SEC championship game, thus erasing all unreasonable doubt about which team should be playing Oklahoma for the national championship.

-- Jim Rhode

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