Erik Gee believes LSU can’t lose.
Oh, the Tigers can score fewer points than Alabama in the BCS title game but they can’t lose his No. 1 vote. They’ve done enough. That’s Gee’s belief and he intends reinforce it with his Associated Press ballot.
The 39-year old radio host in Albuquerque, N.M. is going to vote LSU No. 1 pretty much win or lose following the BCS title game.
“It would have to be something like a 63-0 pasting [by Alabama],” for Gee to change his mind, he told CBSSports.com this week.
His is a stance we haven’t heard of this week as talk of a split national championship starts to bubble up. Now we have a face and a name and reasons why LSU should stay No. 1 in AP. That’s the only place it could happen, by the way, if Alabama wins. The coaches’ No. 1 vote is committed to the BCS title game winner, although there have been some defectors among voting coaches over the years.
“They’ve beaten Alabama once, what else do they need to do?” Gee said of LSU.
“I honestly feel this is the first year somebody is getting screwed by the system because they beat a team on the road, won the division, won the conference and now the system is saying, ‘Play it again, this time on a neutral field.’ “
This is the first time in BCS history two teams from the same conference have met. It is the third time a team that hasn’t won its conference is playing for the title. Complicating matters is No. 1 LSU being asked to beat No. 2 Alabama again after winning the SEC and beating eight ranked teams, three of them in the top three.
Gee’s opinion shouldn’t be a shock. We have seen weirder things – this week. Nick Saban conspicuously voted Oklahoma State No. 4, seemingly attempting to hold the Cowboys underwater so they couldn’t challenge his Tide for No. 2. No coach voted Alabama lower than third. Five coaches voted Oklahoma State lower than third.
Since LSU won the SEC title game Saturday there has been some talk of a split national championship, but not in detail. Oklahoma State finished behind No. 2 Alabama by the closest margin (.0086 of a point) since the BCS formula was changed in 2004. The last split national title occurred in 2003 when USC remained No. 1 in AP. LSU, which beat Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, won the BCS title.
Gee graduated from Oklahoma but his second choice for college was LSU. He considers himself a passionate and educated college football fan. On Sunday, he voted Oklahoma State No. 2 in his latest AP ballot.
“Not because I believe they deserve to play in the national championship but because I believe they and Alabama should get to play for [second place]. LSU should get to kick back and watch everyone else make fools of themselves.”
As for the realistic chances of a split national championship? So far, Gee seems to have a lot of support. For the last four weeks, all 60 voters were unanimous in voting LSU No. 1. Would a close Alabama win -- say, three points -- convince the majority of those 60 to keep LSU at No. 1?
“I think the majority of them [voters] would vote Alabama No. 1 [if the Tide won],” Gee said. “But if it’s a close game, there’s enough of them out there to go, ‘I’m not changing the vote.’ “
You want more? Listen to Gee on “The Sports Bar” weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on KNML in Albuquerque.