LSU Not Yet a Casualty of SEC's Internecine Warfare

Samuel Chi@@ThePlayoffGuruCollege Football Playoff GuruSeptember 29, 2013

Georgia's thrilling 44-41 victory over LSU served to further reduce the ranks of SEC unbeaten. By the end of Saturday night, Alabama and Missouri(!) are the only conference teams that still remain unblemished on the season.

On the surface, it seems to suggest that, should Alabama stumble, the SEC's seven-year reign atop of the BCS would be in peril. But the reality is that several SEC teams, including LSU, are still very much alive in the BCS championship race.

There were five teams in the top 14 spots of last week's simulated BCS standings, and that's actually only going to improve. With Oklahoma State's loss at West Virginia and South Carolina's comeback win at Central Florida, expect those five teams to occupy the top 12 spots in the new simulated BCS standings.

This just means that the SEC is maintaining its vise grip on the national championship race. Any one-loss team is still very much in the mix. 

Let's begin with LSU. Though the Tigers lost a heartbreaker, they're not any worse off in terms of winning the SEC West and earning a place in the conference championship game. They still must beat Alabama on Nov. 9—if they do that and win their remaining games, they'll be in excellent position to get a shot at the school's fourth appearance in the BCS title game.

With its victory over LSU, Georgia staved off BCS elimination and bolstered its credentials considerably now that it's played three games against top 10 teams and is 2-1. With a win over South Carolina, the Bulldogs are in control of the SEC East as long as they defeat Florida in Jacksonville. Their problem stems from their loss to Clemson as they'll not be able to jump an unbeaten—or even a one-loss—Tigers, Oregon or Stanford if they finish without a loss. 

Texas A&M and South Carolina both need help now to win their respective divisions, making their quest for the SEC championship—let alone the BCS title—a much more daunting task. They needed College Football Playoff to arrive a year early.

That leaves us with Alabama, which is perfectly on track for a third consecutive BCS national championship, and its fourth in five years. The Tide will have just one more game against a ranked team the rest of the regular season. As of right now, it doesn't look like they'll be stopped before they get to Pasadena.


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