OXFORD, Miss. — The regular season is down to its final weekend and still the Southeastern Conference Western Division race is far from decided.
No. 1-ranked LSU improved to 11-0 overall and 7-0 in the SEC with Saturday’s 52-3 victory over Ole Miss. But the Tigers still have No. 2 Alabama (10-1, 6-1) and No. 6 Arkansas (10-1, 6-1) on their heels.
The scenarios for who represents the SEC West in the Dec. 3 SEC Championship Game are as follows:
If LSU beats Arkansas on Friday in Tiger Stadium (1:30 p.m., CBS), the Tigers go to the SEC Championship Game.
Alabama needs to beat Auburn and have LSU to lose to Arkansas and have Arkansas be ranked ahead of LSU in the BCS standings to go to the SEC Championship Game.
Arkansas needs to beat LSU and be ranked higher in the BCS than LSU and Alabama or beat LSU and have Alabama lose to Auburn.
If LSU, Alabama and Arkansas all finish 7-1 in SEC play, the team with the lowest BCS ranking will be thrown out and the SEC West representative will be determined by head-to-head competition between the top two teams if the second-ranked team is within five spots of the team five spots ahead of the highest ranked team.
In other words, if LSU loses to Arkansas but stays ahead of Arkansas and within five spots of Alabama, the Tigers will go to the SEC Championship Game.
Arkansas’ only chance to go to the SEC Championship Game in a three-way tie is for next week’s BCS standings to have Arkansas ranked ahead of LSU and Alabama in that order.
LSU, Alabama and Arkansas won this weekend, while four of the other top seven teams in the BCS standings — Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oklahoma and Clemson — lost. So, the three SEC Western Division teams could command the top three slots when the BCS rankings are revealed Sunday night.
With the win, LSU …
• Extends the nation’s longest current active winning streak to 12 games, the Tigers’ longest winning streak since winning 13 in a row in 2006-07.
• Improves to 11-0 for the first time since 1958
• Wins 11 regular season games for just the second time ever (first was in 2003)
• Improves to 7-0 in SEC play for the first time.
e_SBlt Wins 11 games for fifth time in seven seasons under coach Les Miles.
LSU free safety Eric Reid limped off with a right quadriceps injury with 5:04 left in the first quarter trying to make a tackle on an Ole Miss kickoff return. He didn’t return and was in warm-ups before the first half ended after a trip to the locker room.
Reid’s injury left LSU thin at free safety as Craig Loston (hand) didn’t make the trip. The Tigers first played senior Derrick Bryant then went with freshman Ronald Martin of White Castle High. Martin had his first college action Saturday.
LSU tailback Alfred Blue came up limping at the end of a 57-yard run early with 14:14 left in the third quarter — the Tigers’ longest run from scrimmage this season — with an apparent hamstring injury. He did not return.
LSU middle linebacker Karnell Hatcher (leg) also did not make the trip.
Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden, a former Scotlandville High standout, was hurt on his first carry of the game but later returned.
To LSU cornerback Ron Brooks, who opened the scoring with a 46-yard interception return off Ole Miss quarterback Zach Stoudt and later sacked Stoudt and forced a fumble that led to the Tigers’ third touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
Jefferson in record book
Move over Lee Hedges, wherever you are.
Senior Jordan Jefferson netted 26 yards rushing Saturday, giving him 955 career rushing yards to surpass Hedges (1949-51), who had 938 career rushing yards, as the most for an LSU quarterback.
Jefferson also threw a touchdown pass, giving him 32 for his career, tying Jarrett Lee for sixth place in school history.
Jefferson was 7-of-7 passing for 88 yards, allowing him to tie Fred Haynes (9 of 9 vs. Baylor, 1968) and Matt Flynn (7 of 7 vs. North Texas, 2005) for best completion percentage with a minimum of five attempts.
Crunching the numbers
LSU’s 35-3 halftime lead Saturday was its biggest since the Tigers also led 35-3 at halftime of the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl against Georgia Tech.
The 353 rushing yards for LSU were the most since the Tigers went for 360 yards on Nov. 20, 2004, also against Ole Miss.
Wing featured by WSJ
LSU freshman punter Brad Wing’s notoriety continues to grow, as evidenced by a feature on his last week by Scott Cacciola of the Wall Street Journal’s website, wsj.com.
“An Aussie Who Rules at Football” is a look at how popular the Melbourne, Australia, native has become with his teammates and fellow LSU students.
The story and an accompanying video can be found at http://online.wsj.com.
Did you know?
LSU has posted its most lopsided wins ever against four SEC opponents this season: Ole Miss, Tennessee (38-7) and Auburn (45-10).
World Series MVP honored
St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese, MVP of this year’s World Series, attended the game Saturday and was recognized on the field during the first quarter. Freese played at South Alabama.
Freese batted .397 in the postseason this year, with five home runs and 21 RBIs.
The Tigers are 21-3 as the No. 1 team in The Associated Press poll. … Linebacker Kevin Minter’s fumble recovery in the end zone was the first for LSU since Chuck Wiley had one at Alabama in 1997. … LSU is 51-4 in night games under Miles. … Saturday’s game marked the 100th meeting between LSU and Ole Miss. The Tigers now lead the all-time series 57-39-4, including 9-6-1 in Oxford. The Tigers have won two straight and eight of the past 10. ... The Rebels have lost a school-record 13 straight SEC games. … Former Southern California coach John Robinson called the game on a national radio broadcast for the Sport USA network.