ATLANTA (AP) - Les Miles and LSU can now focus on their future
together, starting with a trip to the Superdome.
Assured by Miles he would stay as their coach, the fifth-ranked
Tigers shifted their full attention to No. 14 Tennessee. The result
was a 21-14 victory Saturday in the Southeastern Conference
championship game - and still a slight chance to play for the
Jonathan Zenon scored on an 18-yard interception return with
9:54 left to put LSU (11-2) ahead, then Darry Beckwith picked off
another pass deep in Tigers territory to seal it.
The win sent LSU home with a spot in the Sugar Bowl at worst. At
best, they hoped for losses by No. 1 Missouri and No. 2 West
Virginia later in the day, plus help in the BCS rankings this
weekend to play in college football's championship game, also to be
held in New Orleans at the Superdome.
With speculation swirling that he would soon leave for Michigan,
Miles did everything he could to put aside the distractions. He met
with his players earlier in the day and told them he wasn't going
After winning their first SEC title since 2003, the Tigers hoped
to head for bigger and better things. Miles hugged senior Jacob
Hester as the postgame celebration began at midfield.
"I'm just really happy for our seniors, our leadership," Miles
said. "We had to put it together and we did that."
Tennessee (9-4) had its five-game stopped. The Volunteers might
wind up in the Outback Bowl.
The Vols sported all-orange uniforms for the first time since
1999 and led 7-6 at halftime. The game shaded toward the Tigers'
side in the second half, with backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux
starring in place of injured Matt Flynn.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)