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BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME MEDIA CONFERENCE


December 4, 2011


Les Miles


THE MODERATOR:  At this time we're going to move on to the head coach at Louisiana State University, Coach Les Miles.  Coach, a brief opening statement.
COACH MILES:  Just a very quality football team that achieved a very strong milestone for our school to be undefeated in the regular season and win the championship game.
Kind of set the direction nationally to allow us to be in this game.  I think our guys are excited.  It's something that they were ambitious about, something they played to.  And we're looking forward to facing a very quality Alabama team, a very talented team.
I also want to congratulate Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State, what a magnificent job they've done and other schools that are in the perimeter of this contest, that had great seasons and will play in very, very great venues and BCS games.
And again we look forward to playing in New Orleans and the National Championship game.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions?

Q.  When you see other BCS giants and you see that in addition to winning the SEC championship, beating the teams you did there, you beat two other BCS conference champions in the nonconference.  What does that say about the conference for you guys just achieving to make it through that slate undefeated?
COACH MILES:  I think we played six road games, six home games.  We played quality opponents.  I think what really has prepared this team like other teams that have won the SEC is they went on to the National Championship, is they played such great caliber competition week in, week out.
Every team you see lined up, well coached, well prepared, and great players and you have to be ready to play and you have to be ready to play week in, week out.
And it finishes with a championship game which is the 13th game, and it peaks and really stresses to a team that this is a championship venue.  And once you get through that, it's been certainly in the past a very comfortable setting for the SEC champion.
So we feel fortunate to be where we're at.

Q.¬† A question like this is similar‑‑ a similar question was asked to Coach Saban.¬† From your perspective, you've already beaten this team.¬† I know you say you're proud to face them again.¬† But there could be an argument made that if it's a close game, LSU would be every bit as deserving of a national title, even with a loss in this game, because of the way your season has played out and your entire resum√©.¬† I'm wondering what you thought of that or if you have any thoughts about that?
COACH MILES:¬† I have none.¬† That's all speculation.¬† It's not something that we're going to dwell on.¬† I think the‑‑ I think what happens when you take part in a system, and that system, first of all, you win the West.¬† And winning the West in this league is tremendously important.
And it sets you apart, considering the No. 1, 2, 3 ranked teams nationally were in the West division.  Then you win the conference.  And being the conference champion, in this conference, is a tremendous honor.
So we had the opportunity to play for those two things and win those two things now.  And so that's on the resumé for this team.  The opportunity to go play for the national championship is a completely different scenario.  It's a different place.  It's the same opponent.  But it will be played with the title at stake.
So we look forward to that.  I do understand opinion and speculation thereafter.  But we're going to enjoy this.  This is going to be a great opportunity certainly for both teams and certainly we're looking forward to it.

Q.  Considering the schedule that you guys have played and the fact that you're the only undefeated team, would you be up for just like calling it a season now and just declaring you guys national champs and being done with it?
COACH MILES:  That would disappoint a team that I have here.  This team loves to play in the big stage.  They want to play on national television.  They want to play in domes with the lights on and they want to invite everybody.  And they want to play.
And I certainly understand what you're saying.  You know, it's interesting.  Somebody said that if an Oklahoma State and Alabama played their 13th game, then that might clear it up and then go ahead and play the winner of that and call that the National Championship game.
I certainly understand the difficulty with that.¬† That seemed to be a very easy common sense answer with a lot of difficult real‑life problems.¬† I do understand what you're saying.
We are very much looking forward to participating in New Orleans in the National Championship game.

Q.  Do you think you winning in Tuscaloosa, winning the first time around, do you think there would be a significant crowd advantage playing in New Orleans?
COACH MILES:  I really haven't given a lot of thought to that.  I felt like when we played Ohio State, that it was wonderful to play there.  I don't know that it was so much the crowd as it was the very positive feeling of the town and the people and the experience of spending a week in New Orleans, which is a town that's very familiar with our players and very familiar with our people.
But it appeared to me that there was a factor that made our team enjoy playing there maybe more than in other places.

Q.  Coach Saban was asked this:  The fact we're in the spread era where a lot of teams go to those offenses but the fact that two just downhill power rushing offenses are going at each other, what does that say about this year that these two styles are the last two teams standing?
COACH MILES:  I think each year's different.  I think if you look to the great Florida teams, they were spread and Tebow operated his magic and they played great defense and great special teams.  I think it's based on operating your talent, making sure that you're running the style of offense that benefits the guys that you're coaching.
And then playing all three phases.  To me, you know, I think different styles of offense come and go.  But it's specific to the people, and you always find that quarterback that fits that system best or you always find that tailback or running back or receiver that fits that system best, and it just seems that that's the best way to guide the style of offense.
I think you'll find in all these teams they've played quality defense.  Special teams as well.

Q.  You brought up the quarterback thing.  Have we seen the last of Jarrett Lee?
COACH MILES:  I gotta be honest with you, I keep thinking we're going to get him in the game earlier, and maybe this year, this final game might be that opportunity.
One thing about it, he practices extremely well.  Felt like we were in position to use him.  I would like to have started that game like we started the second half and gotten him in the game really in about the second quarter.  But it just didn't start as fast, and we wanted to stay with what we had specifically for that situation.

Q.  What sets Alabama apart as the No.  2 team to you guys?  What did you take away from that first game in terms of their worthiness of being No. 2?
COACH MILES:  I thought that they were well prepared, well coached.  Obviously a dominant defense.  And just very physically capable.  We have great respect for that Alabama team.  I can see that it certainly was a great game against them at their place, and we certainly respect that outing and that team and we learned that they're very capable.

Q.  The fact that you and Nick, both LSU and Alabama, have been the national champions recently, does that experience do anything as you go into a month to prepare your teams now to play for this again, the fact that you guys have both done this successfully before?
COACH MILES:¬† Yeah, I think our program‑‑ I think our guys understand what we expect of them.¬† We kind of look at the time as a program, as players, exactly what we need to get accomplished in different phases of this preparation.
And I think that the experience we've had in the past, especially with such a late game, will really benefit both Coach Saban and that Alabama team as well as myself and LSU.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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