I wonder what the actual difference between 11-2 & 10-3 actually is?
It depends on the win/loss. In your case, it wouldn't have mattered. LSU competes for BCS National Champsionships and BCS bowl wins. The Chick-fil-A bowl was neither, and the fact that Texas A&M got picked for the Cotton Bowl over you was an insult IIRC.
South Carolina worships their back to back 11-2 seasons, but they haven't really been 11-2 good. LSU fans should hope for (not expect) more 12 or 13 win seasons since double digit win seasons are a regularity under Miles and Chavis, and you've got the talent to win big regularly.