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LSU safety JaCoby Stevens (3) takes down Mississippi State quarterback Garrett Shrader (6) in the second half of the Tigers' 36-13 win over the Bulldogs, Saturday, October 19, 2019, at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss.

LSU picks up a third College Football Playoff projection this week going into its showdown with Auburn. The primary reason: the high ankle sprain and surgery for Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, according to Brett McMurphy of “I’m going with LSU over Bama with a less than 100 percent Tagovailoa,” McMurphy wrote. “If LSU wins at Alabama and takes the SEC title at 13-0, I’m projecting the Tigers as the No. 1 overall seed in the College Football Playoff.” McMurphy also has LSU in the CFP final in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against Ohio State, a rematch of the 2008 BCS final that the Tigers won over the Buckeyes. The majority of projections (10 of 16) still have LSU just missing out on the playoffs with a trip to the Sugar Bowl. But after Texas’ loss to Oklahoma, nine of those picks now have the Tigers taking on still unbeaten Baylor. LSU has three projections in all for the CFP, while three others have the Tigers going to the Orange Bowl.

The projections

Bill Bender, The Sporting News: Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor

Kyle Bonagura, Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor Orange Bowl vs. Virginia Peach Bowl (CFP semifinal) vs. Clemson

Brad Crawford, Orange Bowl vs. Virginia

Jason Kirk, Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor

Steve Lassan, Athlon Sports: Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor

Brett McMurphy, Peach Bowl (CFP semifinal) vs. Clemson; CFP National Championship Game vs. Ohio State

Jerry Palm, Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor

Brant Parsons, Orlando Sentinel: Orange Bowl vs. Virginia

Steve Petrella, Action Network: Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor

Jake Rill, Sugar Bowl vs. Texas

Michael Shapiro, Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor

Mark Schlabach, Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor

Erick Smith, USA Today: Sugar Bowl vs. Baylor

Jim Tomlin, Fiesta Bowl (CFP semifinal) vs. Clemson

Bowl guide

Peach Bowl (CFP semifinal): 3 or 7 p.m., Dec. 28, Atlanta (ESPN)

Fiesta Bowl (CFP semifinal): 3 or 7 p.m., Dec. 28, Glendale, Arizona (ESPN)

Orange Bowl: 7 p.m., Dec. 30, Miami (ESPN)

Sugar Bowl: 7:45 p.m., Jan. 1, Mercedes-Benz Superdome (ESPN)

CFP National Championship Game: 7 p.m., Jan. 13, Mercedes-Benz Superdome (ESPN)

Bowl projection summary

Sugar: 10; Orange: 3; CFP semifinals: 3 (Peach 2, Fiesta 1), CFP final: 1

Email Scott Rabalais at