In the blink of an eye, a college football team can see their championship hopes and aspirations fly out the window. One loss, more often than not, means that a BCS Championship appearance is nothing more than a pipe dream.
Fortunately, this is not the case for the LSU Tigers.
Coming off a disheartening loss to Florida in the Swamp last weekend, the Tigers are getting a chance for instant redemption, with a game against No. 3, South Carolina, in Baton Rouge Saturday night.
A win against South Carolina puts LSU right back in the contention for a national title bid. This is not to say that the Tigers have an easy journey to the BCS Championship, but it does mean that they still have a decent chance.
A trial by fire, if you will, is just what the Tigers may need to get their anemic offense of recent weeks, up and running again.
Most seem to forget that early in the season, the team put up scores of 41, 41 and 63, albeit against two weaker teams and an average Washington team.
Nonetheless, the potential for offense is clearly there and it has already been proven this season.
The loss of running back Alfred Blue seems to have had an extremely negative impact on the offense, surprising, being that the team still has respectable backs in Spencer Ware, Kenny Hilliard, Michael Ford and others.
The loss of Blue compounded with the poor performances recently by QB Zach Mettenberger have left the LSU offense struggling. Just like the rest of the offense, Mettenberger has shown strokes of brilliance before recent poor performances.
Poor quarterback play is nothing new to LSU, so there is no reason that the team can't continue to win games and be successful while Mettenberger gets back on his feet and takes charge as the offensive leader.
How many losses will LSU end the regular season with?
Another surprising aspect of the recent struggles of the LSU offense, is the lack of the signature trick play or wrench in the play calling by the Mad Hatter, Les Miles. A trick play could do great things to get some production out of the offense and get their confidence back up.
When it comes down to it, LSU has their BCS fate in their own hands, with remaining games against number 3 South Carolina, number 22 Texas A&M, number 1 Alabama, number 19 Mississippi State and a possible SEC Championship game.
As an SEC team, LSU will get more respect in the polls as a one-loss team than most teams, even those that are undefeated coming from a weaker conference. A 12-1 SEC Champion LSU team is almost a shoe-in for the National Championship game, based on strength of schedule alone.
In no way does LSU have an easy journey ahead of them, but starting Saturday night in Death Valley, the Tigers can begin their climb back to the top. They won't be able to do this if they continue their streak of poor performances but if they can find some rhythm on offense and continue playing stingy defense, anything is possible for this LSU Tigers team.