LSU must win out and have Alabama lose at Mississippi State this weekend or at Auburn on Nov. 28 to have a shot at reaching the Southeastern Conference championship game and, subsequently, having a chance at the College Football Playoff.
But what if that doesn’t happen and the Tigers are sitting at 10-1?
LSU could get into the College Football Playoff without wining the SEC. It’s unlikely and it involves a ton of moving pieces, but it is possible. Brace yourself and hunker down for the ride ....
Here is the College Football Playoff committee’s top 10 announced Tuesday night. The top four of the final rankings on Dec. 6 will advance to the playoffs.
3 Ohio State
4 Notre Dame
8 Oklahoma State
First: LSU must win out.
at Ole Miss
vs. Texas A&M
Second: Three teams ranked ahead of LSU are assured of losing since they play one another
- 3 Ohio State would play 5 Iowa in the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 5
- 4 Notre Dame plays at 7 Stanford on Nov. 28
- 6 Baylor plays at 8 Oklahoma State on Nov. 21
Third: After those teams lose, and assuming every other team ahead of the Tigers wins out along with the winners of the above games, the final rankings could look like this
3 Ohio State
4 Notre Dame/Stanford winner
5 Baylor/OK State winner
Fourth: LSU won’t leap an undefeated Big 12 champion. The Tigers likely won’t leap one-loss Notre Dame (it would have beaten current top 25 teams Stanford, Navy and Temple and its only loss came at 1 Clemson). So, something else must happen for LSU to move up two spots.
Here are the best options, and LSU needs two of these to happen:
- Pac-12 way: Stanford beats Notre Dame and loses in the Pac-12 championship game to Utah. The committee feels Utah’s one loss (at unranked USC, 42-24) is worse than LSU’s loss at Alabama
- Big 12 mayhem 1: Oklahoma beats TCU on Nov. 21, giving TCU two losses.
Baylor wins at Oklahoma State on Nov. 21, and TCU beats Baylor on Nov. 27, giving OK State and Baylor one loss. The committee feels that Oklahoma State’s home loss to Baylor and Baylor’s loss to a two-loss TCU team are worse than LSU’s one loss at Bama.
- Big 12 mayhem 2: Baylor beats Oklahoma this weekend, giving OU two losses.
Oklahoma State beats Baylor on Nov. 21, and Oklahoma wins at Oklahoma State on Nov. 28, giving OK State and Baylor one loss. The committee feels that Oklahoma State’s home loss to a two-loss Oklahoma and Baylor’s loss to Oklahoma State are worse than LSU’s one loss at Bama. [Option 2 and 3 cannot both happen]
- Big Blue: Michigan beats Ohio State on Nov. 28 and then Ohio State beats Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. The committee feels that Iowa’s loss to Ohio State and Ohio State’s loss to Michigan are worse than LSU’s loss at Bama.
- Big Red: Nebraska beats Iowa on Nov. 27 and then Iowa beats Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game. The committee feels that Iowa’s loss to Nebraska and Ohio State’s loss to Iowa are worse than LSU’s loss at Bama.
- Clemsoning: North Carolina beats Clemson in the ACC championship game. The committee feels North Carolina’s loss (vs. unranked South Carolina, 17-13) and Clemson’s loss to North Carolina are worse than LSU’s loss at Bama.
- SEC: Florida State beats Florida, giving Florida a second loss. Florida beats Alabama in the SEC championship game, giving Bama a second loss. The committee, feeling as if it needs an SEC representative, chooses LSU.
P.S.: For those wondering, LSU canceling its game vs. McNeese State shouldn't affect the Tigers, said Jeff Long, chairman of the CFP committee.