LSU Gives Their Playoff Hopes New Life: Three Things the Tigers Need to Make the CFP
Brian Kelly has already over-delivered in his first year as the head coach of the Tigers after the monster win over Alabama on Saturday. Kelly has his squad in the driver's seat for first place in the SEC and controls its own destiny to get into the SEC Championship game. LSU not only has a chance at an SEC title, but they also have a chance at making the college football playoff. A two-loss team has never made the play-off before, but the Tigers have that chance. Now, a couple of things need to happen in order to make this work but the Tigers have a legitimate shot at the final four. Here is what needs to happen for LSU to get into the CFP.
1. The Tigers need to win out
This one might seem obvious but it's the most important part of this whole process. The Tigers are given a 51% to win their last three games according to ESPN. The Tigers will go on the road to face an Arkansas Razorback team that has underperformed in terms of their record, but they play tough. The Tigers take on UAB at home in what should be a tune-up game before they go to College Station to take on Texas A&M. The Aggies have always given the Tigers problems and I'm sure they would love to spoil the season as LSU did theirs in 2021.
2. The Tigers need to win the SEC Championship convincingly
The title game is more than likely going to be against an undefeated Georgia Bulldog squad. Now you might ask, "why convincingly?" The answer comes down to a limited number of spots. If what I assume will be the number-one-ranked team in the nation loses the Conference title by a slim margin, they will still get one of the top four spots. So then, you are looking around the other conference champs. The Big Ten winner is more than likely going to grab a spot over any two-loss team. I have to imagine that a one-loss Oregon or USC also has better shot at a final-four spot than a two-loss team. An undefeated TCU team will certainly have a spot before a two-loss team. I say all of this to state that a dominant win over the number one team will make it a much easier argument to put in a two-loss team.
3. The Tigers need other teams to lose
Now if the Tigers don't get a dominant win over the Dawgs, they can still get some help from other teams not doing their part. LSU's chances increase heavily if Tennessee loses another game because a one-loss Vol squad with a win over the Tigers will have a better argument for the play-off. The Tigers will also keep their eyes on an undefeated TCU team who has a strong case as of now. The Pac-12 presents a problem for the Tigers as well with three one-loss teams with a case in USC, UCLA, and Oregon. A one-loss Pac-12 will certainly have a better argument than a two-loss Tiger squad.
The Tigers have given their play-off hopes new life with a big victory over the Crimson tide, but they still need a lot of things to fall into place to make that dream a reality. The road will be tough but if you ask the Tigers and their fans, I think they will all tell you they are excited to be in this position in the first place.