No. 4 Auburn showed No. 6 LSU which team had the better offense and the better defense on Saturday, and now it has the better record, too.
Auburn defeated LSU 24-17 on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium to remain as the Southeastern Conference’s only undefeated team and bolster its standing near the top of the BCS rankings for at least another week. The new BCS rankings will come out tonight.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik said his team is now focused on avoiding any mental traps while preparing to play at Ole Miss next week.
“We’re not going to talk about where we end up ranking-wise, we’re not going to talk about being 8-0,” Chizik said. “We’re not going to talk about any of that. We’re going to talk about Ole Miss starting tomorrow.”
Auburn (8-0, 5-0) and LSU (7-1, 4-1) were surprise candidates to be undefeated and leading the SEC West before Saturday as both began the season ranked Nos. 21 and 22, respectively, in the AP poll. But with preseason favorite Alabama falling out of the top spot in the conference and the polls with a loss at South Carolina on Oct. 9, it set the stage for a new frontrunner to be determined between Auburn and LSU.
Any Auburn hopes of a national championship berth likely will require some help in the form of a loss or at least some disappointing wins by No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 2 Oregon or No. 3 Boise State.
Saturday’s Auburn victory also laid the groundwork for an Iron Bowl that could decide the SEC West title. If Alabama and Auburn can remain undefeated leading up to the Nov. 26 showdown, the game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., will decide which team advances to the SEC championship. In each of the previous four seasons, the winner of that game has gone on to play in and win the BCS national championship game.
And don’t count LSU out of the race just yet, coach Les Miles said.
“It’s still early in the back end of the season,” Miles said. “We have a lot of good football teams to play, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Chris White, 706-571-8571; follow Chris online at twitter.com/le_chriswhite.