Just because this team already has one conference loss and two losses overall doesn’t mean they are out of the SEC title picture, at least according to ESPN.
In an effort to identify both plausible and surprising outcomes, ESPN worked up a conclusion where LSU — despite blemishes to Wisconsin and Auburn, and a fired coach on their resume — actually wins the SEC West over Alabama and Texas A&M.
Assume for a moment that LSU defeats Florida in Week 6 and then wins a home game against Ole Miss in Week 8, both of which are games ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) has the Tigers favored to win. Now add either an Arkansas upset of Alabama this weekend or a Tennessee upset of the Crimson Tide in Week 7 and an Alabama win over Texas A&M in their Oct. 22 matchup in Tuscaloosa.
If those events happen, LSU would go into its November matchups against Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M with all four teams having at least one conference loss. At that point, LSU could claim the SEC West title with three wins.
Of course, winning the SEC West would set them up in the SEC Championship Game against an SEC East opponent. A win there would set up one of the biggest turnaround seasons of all time.
Would that be enough to get LSU into the College Football Playoff? It’s an interesting scenario, as we haven’t gotten a Playoff yet where a two-loss SEC champ has to battle it out with one-loss champs from the conference. When you start to factor in other things like a potentially undefeated Houston team, things start to get messy.
Of course, Alabama and Nick Saban might just solve all of this nonsense by crushing all of their opponents. A lot of things have to happen for Alabama to enable an LSU path to the SEC title, so Tigers fans shouldn’t book their tickets to Atlanta just yet.