Five Thoughts: 4. Really? Are LSU And Auburn Still Alive For The CFP? Here’s Why.
No way … even with two losses, is it possible LSU and Auburn still have a desperate outside shot at the College Football Playoff?
5 Thoughts After Week 8
Week 8 Roundup: Rankings, Bowl Projections, Analysis
1. Win Out, Notre Dame, And You’re In The CFP. Maybe
2. Where’s The Baker Mayfield Heisman Love?
3. What A 16-Team College Football Playoff Would Look Like
5. Does UCF Or USF Have A Shot At The CFP?
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Could there be some desperate, outside playoff shot for someone in the West other than Alabama?
Just a week away from the release of the first official College Football Playoff rankings, it’s that time of year for the wacky scenarios – and this one is a doozy.
Work with me on this.
LSU got walloped by Mississippi State and lost at home to a Sun Belt team. So that’s it. There’s no chance whatsoever for the Tigers to even be a thought in the College Football Playoff chase.
No two-loss team has ever made it in, and the losses are just two massive. Done, finished, thanks for playing.
But what if LSU beats Alabama in Tuscaloosa?
The Crimson Tide will almost certainly be No. 1 when the first rankings come out, or at worst, No. 2 if Penn State beats Ohio State.
If LSU beats the Tide, and then rolls through the rest of the schedule against Arkansas, at Tennessee and Texas A&M, it’ll win the West and be off to play – for the purposes of making this work – Georgia for the SEC Championship.
And for this scenario to play out, Georgia has to be 12-0 and ranked first or second in the CFP rankings going into Championship Weekend.
A whole slew of other things would have to materialize – there would have to be a few two-loss conference champs, and Notre Dame has to lose again – but if this happens, LSU will be the hot team peaking at the right time, it’ll have the biggest win of the year – Alabama at Alabama – and it’ll have beaten Florida and Tennessee on the road and Auburn and Texas A&M at home.
Okay, you’re not buying. The Troy loss is too awful, and the 37-7 pasting from Mississippi State stinks.
So try this with Auburn.
The two losses are far more acceptable than LSU’s, dropping a 14-6 fight at Clemson, and losing in another road battle to LSU in Death Valley 27-23.
LSU got walloped by Mississippi State, but Auburn beat the Bulldogs 49-10.
Also in this scenario, Auburn beats Texas A&M, and here’s the kicker – it beats Georgia. All of a sudden, the Iron Bowl showdown at Auburn would be for the West title.
Again, assume Alabama is No. 1 or 2 and unbeaten. With the whole world watching, Auburn delivers a win, and then beats a one-loss Georgia again in the SEC title game.
But what about the Big Ten’s scenario last year?
Ohio State lost to Penn State on the road, it finished 11-1 and got into the CFP, while the two-loss Nittany Lions were left out of the fun despite winning the Big Ten championship.
A few key differences. First, beating this Alabama team would be a bit better than what Penn State did last year against the Buckeyes, especially if LSU pulls it off on the road. Second, Wisconsin already had two losses when it faced Penn State in the B1G title game.
In these scenarios, Georgia will either be unbeaten, or it’ll have one loss to the team it’s facing in the SEC Championship.
The thorns in the side of the desperate hopes of two of the three SEC Tiger teams would be an 11-1 Alabama likely pulling a 2016 Ohio State and getting in, and also, the two-loss factor.
Of course, for any of this to be a part of any scenario, all one of the two Tiger teams has to do is beat Alabama. Just start there, and hope the rest becomes part of the discussion.
Week 8 Rankings & Thoughts
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | MW | Sun Belt
– CFN Rankings & Reaction No. 1 to 130
– Coaching Hot Seat Rankings
– Heisman Race After Week 8
– Scoreboard & Predictions