Could LSU end up having an undefeated season and possibly go to the National Championship? Yes, I know that LSU has one loss going into the Magnolia Bowl, but there are a handful of "what ifs" to consider here.
First, what if Auburn's Cam Newton is declared ineligible? If Newton is declared ineligible, Auburn will have to forfeit all of its wins this year. This includes LSU's one and only loss. If that loss is wiped off the books, would LSU be one of the four undefeated teams at that point in time?
The second "what if" is directly connected to the first. If Newton is declared ineligible and LSU is declared undefeated, would they leapfrog Boise State and TCU, and be in the BCS Championship game against Oregon? Could it be possible that a SEC team could make it to the BCS Championship game without playing in the SEC Championship game?
This would, of course, be dependent on LSU being able to defeat both Ole Miss and Arkansas. So, in effect, there could be a bit more meaning for the Magnolia Bowl than first meets the eye.
There is also the very real possibility of Auburn ending up with two loses at the end of the regular season. This has led to talk of a one-loss LSU team jumping the two non-automatic qualifying teams and being placed in the BCS Championship.
While I believe that this would be a travesty, it would not be the first time that teams from a smaller conference have been screwed by the BCS.
The Magnolia Bowl also means a lot to Ole Miss. The Rebels' backs are against the wall. A loss against LSU ends any chance that Ole Miss could have for getting bowl eligible. This is literally a must win game for the Rebels.
In an ordinary year, without the Cam Newton controversy, one might expect LSU to come out a bit flat against the Rebels on Saturday, knowing that Auburn has wrapped up the SEC West title. But to quote Lee Corso, not so fast!
If Auburn has to forfeit all of its wins this year, LSU will be in the driver's seat; or would they? Although the chance of this all happening before the SEC Championship game, or the BCS Championship game, is slim, there is that slight possibility. Thus LSU still has something to play for, and to hope for in the next two games.
Maybe the Mad Hatter has been making the short drive to New Orleans and consulting a Voodoo queen or something this fall, but for whatever reason, luck has been with the Tigers. Could their luck continue all the way to the BCS Championship?
Probably not, but the Rebels should definitely not count on the Tiger's coming out flat this week in Baton Rouge. I think that the Cam Newton debacle could give the Tigers just enough hope to keep them focused.
That said, I also do not count out the possibility of Ole Miss ending all of the above speculations on Saturday. Anything can happen in the Magnolia Bowl. Les Miles blew the game last year, and although he has been lucky so far this year, his coaching prowess still looks suspect.
For all his faults, and there are many, Houston Nutt does seem to have a knack for pulling off totally unexpected upsets. This is especially true in marquee games. The LSU vs Ole Miss game will garner national attention, which seems to be mostly what motivates Nutt.
Expect to see a motivated LSU team on Saturday, but also expect to see a different Ole Miss team from the one which showed up against Tennessee. This game could go down to the wire, in spite of Nutt's coaching, and because of Mile's coaching.
All in all, the Magnolia Bowl is much more important than it seems at first glance. Not only is it a major rivalry, but the implications for both teams could be big.
Bohdi Sanders ~ http://thewisdomwarrior.com/
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