Following the 27-24 loss to Ole Miss, the LSU Tigers are now playing for a berth in a BCS bowl.
Can you remember a time when making a BCS bowl was a second Christmas? Seems like many Christmases ago unfortunately.
Assuming most LSU fans have locked themselves in their rooms today, they need a solid pick-me-up. Well, pick your heads up. This is college football and unexpected scenarios always occur.
The Sugar Bowl should be the focus for all Tiger fans. It will go to the second-best team in the SEC, presuming that Alabama wins the conference and plays for a national championship. As we saw with all of the upsets yesterday, there are numerous scenarios that could vault even a one-loss Alabama team into the title game.
Obviously, LSU can't look ahead. The players should already have that lesson seared into their brains.
If the Tigers win out, that would mean LSU victories over two of the best teams in the country, Alabama and Texas A&M. The Tigers already hold a victory over an impressive Auburn team.
That resume is good enough to reach a BCS bowl, but the Tigers will need help. UCLA or Stanford will need to defeat Oregon and Ohio State, or Florida State will have to drop a game to ensure the Crimson Tide gets to defend its national title if it loses to LSU on Nov. 9.
If the pieces of the puzzle fall together for LSU, here are the three teams the Tigers will count on to help its Sugar Bowl berth. Not surprisingly, all three hail from the SEC.
With wins over Auburn, Alabama and Texas A&M to finish the season, LSU would have the best two-loss season in the country, so Tiger fans wouldn't have to worry about two-loss schools like South Carolina.
However, a helping hand from the Gamecocks wouldn't hurt.
The aid begins as soon as Saturday.
Missouri is likely to win the SEC East.
I say likely because of the remaining games on the schedule. The Tigers must beat South Carolina and try to avoid any hiccups against Ole Miss and Tennessee. They were the hiccup-inducing kings last Saturday.
Oh, and Missouri has to try to stop Johnny Manziel, who passed for 372 yards and recorded five total touchdowns against the Tigers in 2012.
But Missouri is playing like a team that can weather the storm and perhaps only drop one game on the remaining schedule. That's why it's critical South Carolina defeats Missouri this Saturday.
With the Gamecocks beating Missouri, the Tigers would sport one loss. Even if Missouri plays remarkable football and defeats Tennessee, Ole Miss and Texas A&M to finish the season, a Sugar Bowl bid is not guaranteed. Why?
A one-loss team in the SEC championship is a nice position to be in. A two-loss SEC team following the SEC championship game? Not so much. Just ask Georgia.
That's right LSU fans—for your team to have a chance to play in a BCS bowl, you could need help from the team you despise the most.
LSU will need Alabama to defeat Missouri in the conference title game, which would make LSU and Missouri the only SEC teams with two losses.
Because LSU will have won four straight games, with two of them coming against ranked teams, LSU would hurdle into the Sugar Bowl over Missouri.
Plus, it's in New Orleans. Bowls are all about money, and they know LSU playing in the Sugar Bowl equals dollar, dollar bills, y'all.
So say it with me LSU fans—Roll Tide...
Here's LSU's insurance. Let's say this college football season gets absolutely crazy. I'm talking 2007 crazy, where a two-loss LSU team played for a national championship because of the chaos.
After Alabama hypothetically loses to LSU, the Tide will drop one in the...wait for it...Iron Bowl. That's right. What if Auburn pulls off the upset against Alabama to end the season and gives the Crimson Tide its second loss of the season?
LSU will win the tiebreaker and go to Atlanta to play for an SEC championship if that's the case. But wait a minute—what about Auburn?
Those sneaky Tigers only have one loss, but hopefully, for LSU's sake, Auburn will enter the Iron Bowl with two losses, with one of those coming against Georgia.
Auburn should beat Tennessee and Arkansas, but as the Tigers enter a Nov. 16 matchup against Georgia, Auburn should play a healthier Georgia team.
Should the Bulldogs defeat Auburn and Auburn pull off an upset in the Iron Bowl, LSU could play in the 2013 SEC Championship Game.
You see, friends, this season isn't over. No one expected a wounded Ole Miss squad to compete with LSU, much less defeat the Tigers.
Anything could happen. These borderline-ridiculous scenarios could easily become a reality. That's college football for you.
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