Louisiana State coach Les Miles, whose team is a popular pick to play in this season's BCS title game opposite USC, is calling into question the strength of the Pacific 10 Conference, suggesting the Trojans should be a cinch to make it to the Jan. 7 game in New Orleans because of a suspect league schedule.
"I can tell you this, that they have a much easier road to travel," Miles said. "They’re going to play real knockdown drag-outs with UCLA and Washington, Cal-Berkeley, Stanford — some real juggernauts — and they’re going to end up, it would be my guess, in some position so if they win a game or two, that they’ll end up in the title [game].
"I would like that path for us. I think the SEC provides much stiffer competition."
Miles was just getting started.
"I can tell you that I would like nothing better than to play USC for the title," he said.
Miles made the comments during an interview last week on New Orleans radio station WWL. The comments were reported by Carl DuBois of the Baton Rouge Advocate.
Miles didn't limit his smack to the Pac-10 and USC. He also took this shot at the Big 12:
"The Big 12 is a conference that might have two really pretty good teams, maybe four. I think the Pac-10 may have one or two really good ones. The ACC certainly, arguably, has some quality teams.
"I don't think there's any conference out there that has as many quality teams as ours."
Miles, who played and coached at Michigan and is voter in the USA Today poll, also said he voted Florida over Michigan last season after the Gators defeated Arkansas in the SEC title game, helping to put Florida in the title game over the Wolverines. He talked with several friends in Michigan afterward.
"Guys who were at my wedding, college roommates, said, 'What the heck are you doing?' You had to do what was right. I really feel like I’d stand by that vote every time."
Miles also said that if there were an eight-team playoff to decide the national champion, "There'd probably be at least four SEC teams in the top eight."
Miles, a native of Elyria, Ohio, was asked if it's a matter of upbringing to hold the position that "something must be done about USC," the most frequent Big Ten opponent in the Rose Bowl.
"Should something be done about SC?" Yeah. It might just have to be the system, first, though."