Notebook > Sports

'I am deeply sorry'

"'I am deeply sorry'" Continued...

Issue: "Signs and wonders," Jan. 26, 2008

Volunteers are not allowed inside the stadium during the game but earn distinction as among the most culturally significant groupies in the world. Close to 140 million people tuned in to last year's halftime show featuring Prince.

Les is more

For the first time in college football, a two-loss team has finished No. 1 in the Associated Press poll. But national champion LSU need not feel too sheepish given that all of the top six ranked teams also dropped two games on the year. If a two-loss team had to finish on top, why not the one that suffered both of its defeats in triple overtime, as LSU did?

Of course, several runners-up could make similarly strong claims for their rightful place atop the poll. Georgia, USC, and Kansas each received at least one first-place vote, the first four-way split since 1977.

Such uncertainty at the top, which remained consistent throughout the 2007 season, has pressed some major conference commissioners to reconsider instituting a final-four format into the Bowl Championship Series structure. Under that scenario the top four teams would play off to determine the national champion.

Commissioners from the SEC, ACC, Big East, and Big 12 have expressed openness to the idea while heads of the Pac-10 and Big Ten remain opposed. Some decision-makers fear that any expansion of playoffs would undermine the importance of other bowls and diminish profits.

For his part, LSU coach Les Miles found this year's non-playoff result sufficiently agreeable. In the wake of LSU's 38-24 trouncing of Ohio State in the BCS championship game Jan. 7, he admitted other programs may have more talent, "but this is the best team."

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