LSU and Oregon to meet in 2011

In 2007, Les Miles took a shot at USC by insulting the Pac-10:

I would like nothing better than to play USC for the [national] title. I can tell you this, that they have a much easier road to travel. 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.

No mention of Oregon, which Miles and his Tigers now have agreed to play to open the 2011 season in another "Cowboys Classic" inside palatial Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 3.

The game will be televised on either ABC or ESPN.

First of all, kudos to both schools for having the guts to schedule such a great game. How could you not be excited about this one, which figures to match two ranked teams from opposite sides of the country?

Sure there won't be any trash talking in advance of this one.

And, by the way, LSU is a program does have room to talk smack about the Pac-10. While the SEC is 9-11 versus the Pac-10 since 2000, LSU is 13-3 all-time versus the Pac-10, including recent wins over Oregon State, Arizona State, Washington and Arizona (twice). The Tigers are 2-1 vs. Oregon.

The Ducks will be an interesting team in 2011. Graduation will hit both lines hard -- three starters gone on both -- but the skill should be outstanding, with quarterback Darron Thomas entering a second year as a starter and LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner starring in a dynamic backfield.