ASK CFN - What Happens If LSU Loses Late?
LSU RB Jacob Hester
LSU RB Jacob Hester
Posted Oct 11, 2007

Should LSU still be in the national title chase? What happens if LSU loses late? Is Boston College for real? These questions and more in the latest edition of ASK CFN.

By Pete Fiutak
Fire over your questions to me at I might not be able to answer them all, but I promise they're all read. Any e-mails sent to this address may be published or edited unless requested otherwise. (Please put ASK CFN in the subject line, and PLEASE keep the questions short ... it makes my life easier.)

Is Michael Crabtree really as good as some people make him out to be?  CFN has him ranked as the top player in the country but I don't buy it.  Sure the numbers are amazing, but it's Texas Tech.  Everybody who comes though that program puts up ridiculous passing stats.  Just look at Crabtree's own teammate Danny Amendola - he's 3rd in the nation in receiving yards.  Are we to believe that he too is one of the very best players in the country? –DZ

“It’s Texas Tech?” Last I checked, Texas Tech is a FBS college football team and in a BCS conference. Yards are yards are yards, and points are point are points. Wouldn't everyone like to be number one in the nation in total offense, number two in scoring offense, and first in passing offense? If USC or Oklahoma had a receiver putting up the same numbers, would you say the same thing?

Who’s had a better first half than Crabtree? First of all, yeah, he's really good. He was a strong recruit who could've gone to most top places, and he happens to be in a system that showcases his skills. Remember when Drew Brees put up big stats for Purdue, and everyone complained it was the system? He was a great driver who had a sweet car. It's the same for Crabtree. His numbers are at a record-setting pace, and he’s already blown away a few records after just six games. This isn’t about who the most talented player is; it’s about who’s been better than everyone else so far. I don’t care how the numbers were amassed. I don’t care if it’s a system. I don’t care how it works. If it’s so easy to catch 70 passes for 1,074 yards and 17 touchdowns in six games (let those number sink in for a minute) then wouldn’t everyone do it? I’m not saying Crabtree is a better player than Glenn Dorsey, or Darren McFadden, or Matt Ryan, or slew of other top talents, but it’s about what the players have done on the field so far.

Past ASK CFNs ...  
- The best RB you don't know
- What's wrong with Texas A&M? 
- How bad is the Big Ten?
- Will Miles run to Michigan?
- Supersized Season Premier of ASK CFN
 The most loved & hated teams
- Is Miami still a power?
- CFN's West Virginia ranking
- Is Booty Heisman-worthy?
- The USC Schedule
- The Big Ten Network
- The most underrated head coach
- The Top Ten NFL receiver prospects 

- Why did Brady Quinn slide?
- The Virginia Tech situation

- Creating a MWest-WAC super-league
Mid-majors who should be in the bigs
The potential new superpower
The 5 best coaching jobs
March Madness for football?
Potential Bowl Shockers
Tim Brewster?
Fox's BCS broadcasts
- Is Brady really better than Russell?
Hot & Cold Bowl Programs
- How ineffective was Reggie Ball?
- A 2007 Top 10 Mock Draft
Can Michigan win a national title?
- BCS possibilities for several teams
- West Virginia schedule, BCS rules
- Toughest coaching jobs
- Hidden Heisman 5

- Is Temple worst ever?
- Oklahoma-Oregon fiasco
- Has Bob Stoops lost it?
- Is Colorado done?

Suppose LSU is the only undefeated team left going into conference championship week, and then they lose a really close one to Florida in the rematch. What do you think would happen for the national title game? – SA

A: Before bombing me with e-mails, LSU fans, the question is what would happen, not what should happen. Obviously it depends on who else is out there and who else is in the mix, but this year, it would be tough to lose late and get into the Superdome. I don’t believe that a late loss should count more than an early one, and I'll argue that you shouldn't play for the national title if you don't win your conference, but in the confines of the current system, I’ll scream and yell that a one-loss LSU team should get in over a one-loss USC or Oklahoma, who lost to lesser competition. Sure, 2003 Oklahoma is the example of a team getting in after losing late (and ugly), but would the Tigers get in over an unbeaten Hawaii or Boston College? That would be a fun debate.

So I've been noticing in most of the Heisman "watch lists" that due to the crazy nature of the '07 season, Glenn Dorsey continues to (sort of) hang around the Heisman discussion. I know this is mostly out of respect for his impact on the line because his stats don't stand out, but with the lack of a real front runner is there anything a defensive tackle (or a monster DE like George Selvie) could do to really get in the race?
- DH

Dorsey is in the race because he’s the best player on the best team in America. If Cal goes to number one, then DeSean Jackson will get more Heisman attention. If BC is first, then Matt Ryan will get more pub, and so on. It’s not really about actually winning the award, Dorsey doesn’t have an honest chance, but it’s about possibly being a finalist. Realistically, getting in the top five is the real honor. Everything else is just a lucky beauty contest.

I'm still trying to get over the biggest shock of the year. Not App. St. over Mich, not Syracuse over UL, not even Stanford over USC. The biggest shock is easily USC only falling 6/8 spots. I have always believed that the human polls have been the cancer to the BCS. Might this cause a change to the way the human polls are done? I forsee a scenario where USC climbs up to 3rd, and LSU loses a close game in the SEC championship. Should USC even be allowed a chance at the BCS title?
- Aaron

If Stanford’s fourth down touchdown pass fell incomplete, where would USC be ranked? 2nd? 4th? 1st? It’d be somewhere in the top three in the rankings. Mark Bradford caught the pass, so that one play is the difference between No. 2 and out of the top 25?! Among all the problems with the rankings, one of the big issues is the lack of movement. Yeah, it’s fine to knock USC out of the top 25 this week, and then move it back into the top five if it starts rocking and rolling again. USC is seventh in the Coaches’ Poll, but if you were hooked up to a lie detector and had to bet the house, would you take South Florida or Boston College over the Trojans on a neutral field? Maybe, but would you take Hawaii, Texas, Purdue or Kansas over USC? The rankings are tough, and I’m all for ripping on the process, but it’s not an easy puzzle to put together from a practical, or philosophical level. As far as being “allowed” a chance at the BCS title, sure. If Cal is number two, and it gets blasted by USC by double-digits, then what are the rankings like? The remaining schedule, after the Arizona game this week, is at Notre Dame, at Oregon, Oregon State, at California, at Arizona State and UCLA. If USC runs the table impressively, yeah, it has to be in the mix.

Overall, Mack Brown and the Longhorns seem to always get labeled with "soft" when they struggle, while OU, in 2005, lost to TCU, struggled with Tulsa, got blown out by Texas, played flat games against Kansas and Baylor (2OT), barely squeezed by A&M, lost (arguably?) to Tech... but then beat Oklahoma State solidly and upset Oregon in the Holiday bowl... and were labeled "gutsy" and "tough as any team in the country."  So my question is, if UT struggles but wins out and then wins a respectable bowl game, do they get to be "gutsy" and "tough" or are they "soft" again?  Do they have to blow out teams between now and then to get the "tough" label?  Or is that reserved for a group of teams that UT isn't a part of? – Jeff

Yeah, it’s a strange double standard. You wouldn’t necessarily classify USC as gutsy or tough, but it pounded its way past Nebraska earlier this year. Basically, if a team runs the ball and is good at stopping the run, it gets labeled as tough. If a team struggles to run effectively and has to rely on the passing game when it needs the hard yards, if gets the soft tag. I wouldn’t label Texas as soft after the loss to OU. Considering how Colt McCoy got battered around, I though the Longhorns battled well against a better team. If only Jammal Charles could hold on to the ball.

Is Boston College overrated?  Of all of the teams they have played (NC ST, Wake, G. Tech, Army and Umass) only one has a winning record, none are in the top 50 for scoring offense, all in the bottom half in total offense.  On the defensive side, G.Tech and Wake (barely) are in the top 50 for total defense.  It's not like BC has blown out any of these teams and only beat I-AA Umass by 10.  It seems like they are in for a big crash at the end of the season playing at V.Tech, Maryland and Clemson and getting FSU and Miami at home. 
– JB

Being in the top four might seem a bit high, and it's sort of there by attrition, but it’s still just October, and there's plenty of time to prove to the world it's for real. With enough big games left, there will be plenty of chances to justify the ranking, and if the Eagles are still unbeaten in mid-November, then they’ll obviously be for real. With that said, at the moment, this is a rock-solid team with above-average players all over the place, and a superstar, possible first round draft pick in Matt Ryan leading the way. There aren’t any glaring weaknesses. I love this team and think it’s the absolute real deal, and this year, undefeated is undefeated. With all the upsets all over the landscape, we might be past the point of being able to criticize schedules.

If Cal ends up playing South Florida for the national championship, which is as good as anyone's guess the way this season is going, would that help get a playoff sooner in college football? No one outside about 100 square miles of Northern California seems to know about or care about Cal, and USF is still confused with UCF, FIU, FAU and the other newbies from the Sunshine State by most football fans. Bears and Bulls are more associated with the stock market, so what fans from Ann Arbor, South Bend, Baton Rouge and the other meccas of college football are going to tune in to a USF-UC national championship?
- PA

Let’s settle this right now. Nothing, NOTHING will bring about a playoff any faster. Not seven unbeaten teams, not four top-shelf one-loss teams, not Utah State vs. Florida International getting in thanks to the computer polls, nothing. I’m hearing more and more about how fans just aren’t fired up about the possibility of, say, Cincinnati vs. Arizona State in a national title, or Kansas vs. Hawaii. Don’t fall for the brand names. Would fans rather have Notre Dame vs. Miami? How about Texas vs. Michigan? As of right now, I’m taking a stance to mentally whiz all over anyone who gets all high and mighty about not having any interest in the national title game pairing a couple of non-traditional teams.

It’s the exact same thing for me and baseball. I admit to having less than zero interest in a Colorado – Arizona National League Championship Series, and will probably be more interested in the latest episode of The Biggest Loser than the winner of that series playing Cleveland, if the Tribe beats Boston. Of course I’ll watch, but true baseball fans have the right to dismiss me as a total idiot, just like I'll blast away at anyone who dogs a Cal - South Florida matchup in New Orleans.

What's your opinion on a player hitting a ball carrier, in the field of play, just before he runs out of bounds, when running out of bounds is almost assuredly his intent?  During the Florida vs. L.S.U. game a Tiger defender hit Tebow just before he left the field of play, and was penalized for it.  Wasn't this a poor call?  Isn't hitting a quarterback in the field of play, in a legal fashion, something defensive players supposed to do? 
- Brian  

A: Until a player is out of bounds, I vote to blast away. You never, ever know. Take a player like Devin Hester, who has an uncanny knack of flirting with the sidelines like he’s about to go out of bounds, and then make some freakish cut to bounce up the field and get a few more yards, or tear off a huge return. All players know they’re fair game between the lines. If a defender can pull off a Rey Maualuga-like blast on Pat Cowan on the sidelines, go for it.