LSU ready to take SEC West reins

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Two hours before kickoff on Saturday afternoon at Tiger Stadium, students began to pile into seats in the lower northwest corner as the day's big game in the SEC West played on the video board above and Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" bathed the whole place in sound.

Some 5½ hours later, LSU coach Les Miles, after the Tigers' 45-13 win over Kent State -- their NCAA-record 44th straight nonconference win -- inquired about the score of the Alabama-Texas A&M game, which ended after kickoff here at Death Valley.

It was 49-42, Bama.

"Oh, my goodness," Miles said, pursing his lips as he tried not to show a smile. "I kind of wanted something like that to happen."

Miles had yet to watch the tape or even highlights from College Station, Texas, so when he says he wanted something like that, it's safe to believe he's not talking about Mike Evans' huge receiving day or AJ McCarron's scary efficiency.

The LSU coach wanted a struggle. Maybe even a shootout. Actually, he wanted a blueprint.

The sixth-ranked Tigers don't face No. 1 Alabama until Nov. 9, with an open date before and after the Crimson Tide, then a meeting with No. 10 A&M.

On the third Saturday of September as attention focused 350 miles to the west, LSU systematically dispatched the Golden Flashes to remain unbeaten. And as much as it's possible for a program that won 85 games and played for two national titles over the past eight seasons, LSU quietly awaits as the other SEC powerhouses grab headlines.

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