Our man Jake Trotter ranked LSU No. 1 in his earlybird college football poll for 2011. The Tigers No. 1 and OU No. 2. You can check out his rankings here: http://www.newsok.com/article/3532805
The Sooners have been No. 1 on several of these pre- preseason polls: espn.com, si.com, Tony Barnhart, rivals.com, nationalchamps.net. I don’t know who belongs at No. 1, but I know who belongs at No. 1 if OU and LSU are the top two.
Guess where the Big Bowl is next season? That’s right. Back in New Orleans. Back at the Superdome. Back where the Bayou Bengals have won both their national championships.
LSU beat OU 21-14 in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, then four years later blasted Ohio State 38-24 in the national championship game at the Superdome. Now the Big Bowl returns to New Orleans on its every-four-years rotation.
LSU is very difficult to beat in New Orleans. I would say the Tigers would have the best homecourt advantage in a national-title game. Miami was awfully tough in the old Orange Bowl and might be the same at Dolphins Stadium, which is their new homefield. But Miami U. doesn’t have the universal appeal in south Florida that LSU has throughout Louisiana. Southern Cal playing in the Rose Bowl is a big advantage, but not insurmountable. And Arizona State and Arizona both seem a pipedream to make the Big Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
But LSU in the Superdome, 70 miles from its Baton Rouge campus, is an absolute load. Domed stadium. Rabid fan base. Distinct culture that makes New Orleans feel like a different country.
Bob Stoops has talked about what a uncomfortable feeling that Sugar Bowl week was. It truly was a road game for the Sooners.
OU-LSU in New Orleans would be another road game for the Sooners. OU No. 1 and LSU No. 2? Not likely. If the Sooners are to make it back to the Big Bowl, they don’t want any part of LSU waiting on them.