Forget the ramifications, the mere fact that LSU has a game this week against an opponent as good as Arkansas is all the Tigers need to focus on, head coach Les Miles said during his weekly Monday news conference.
"I haven't been able to internalize any of that," Miles said, referencing the BCS ramifications that surround Friday's game between No. 1 LSU (11-0, 7-0) and No. 3 Arkansas (10-1, 6-1) at Tiger Stadium. "We're going to play this very, very talented team in our stadium Friday and we are going to enjoy that."
After all, there are all kinds of BCS and SEC championship game scenarios that remain. But one is absolutely clear: If LSU keeps winning, it will play in both the SEC title game and the BCS championship game. LSU may need to only win the Arkansas game to advance to the BCS championship, but those are issues Miles was choosing to address at a later date.
Another thing that's clear is that things rarely ome easy for the Tigers against Arkansas. Just look back to last season, when a 31-23 loss to Arkansas likely cost the Tigers a chance at a BCS bowl game. That gave the Hogs three wins in their last four against LSU.
And last year's close contest was the most lopsided game in the series since LSU's 43-14 win in 2004, the last game in the series decided by a double-digit margin.
One may also recall Arkansas nearly spoiling LSU's 2007 BCS championship run with a 50-48 triple-overtime win at Tiger Stadium.
And while there might be reasons why LSU struggles against Arkansas - senior day if it's home, a Thanksgiving weekend trip if it's away, Friday games like this week's game - Miles chose to emphasize one:
"We've lined up against some very talented Arkansas teams," he said.
The paranoid LSU fan may see the stars aligning against the Tigers this week with Arkansas' strength matching up against an element of LSU that may be a bit vulnerable this week.
Arkansas has the league's top passer in Tyler Wilson, who has thrown for 3,215 yards and 21 touchdowns. In the week LSU has to face Wilson and a talented array of receivers that includes SEC receiving leader Jarius Wright (61 receptions, 1002 yards), the Tigers have injury issues in its secondary.
Safety Eric Reid left Saturday's 52-3 win over Ole Miss with a quad injury while safety Craig Loston has been hampered by both a concussion and an arm injury that kept him from making the trip to Ole Miss.
LSU ended up playing little-used senior Derrick Bryant for significant snaps against the Rebels and it took the redshirt off freshman Ronald Martin from White Castle. Is LSU's pass defense compromised just in time to see the best pass offense it will see this season?
Miles insisted Monday he expects both Loston and Reid to be ready for Arkansas.
"But (Reid) is a little more questionable (than Loston)," Miles said.
Other issues addressed by Miles Monday included:
* Miles expressed condolences to Arkansas for the death of tight end Garrett Uekman, who was found dead in his dorm room Monday.
Miles also expressed sorrow for the death of Oklahoma State women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and three others who died in a plane crash over the weekend.
"That school is still very special to me," Miles said.
* Miles' humor came out again when talking about deep snapper Joey Crappell. A reporter asked Miles about players who joke that Crappell looks much older than a college student.
"He looks like a coach," Miles said, "one who has been through a couple of tough seasons."
Miles smiled and added "OK, I'm going to get some Crappell hate mail now."
* Miles was asked about the quarterback rotation for this weekend and, as has been the case in recent weeks, he noted that both Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee will see chances.
He said he has not made the quarterbacks available to the media because he wants to protect them from the scrutiny of a quarterback controversy.
"There will be plenty of time for them to talk," Miles said. "Right now, I just want them to focus on the games."
* It was announced that defensive back Ron Brooks was named the SEC's co-defensive player of the week after he returned an interception for a touchdown and forced and recovered a fumble on a sack in the Ole Miss game. Offensive guard Will Blackwell was named the offensive lineman of the week.