LSU Football: 3 paths to the College Football Playoff for the Tigers

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In what has been a whirlwind of a season, especially for the SEC, there’s a chance we see our first two — or even three — loss playoff teams. It comes in the form of Brian Kelly’s LSU football team.

In spite of a one-point loss against Florida State in Week 1 and getting blown out against Tennessee, the Tigers sit at No. 5 in the latest playoff rankings heading into the final week of the regular season.

With No. 1 Georgia in their path, No. 2 Ohio State facing off against No. 3 Michigan, and No. 4 TCU looking a little shaky lately, there are definitely paths that put LSU in the playoff. Some are pretty clear, others may incite a riot at their suggestion.

All of these paths do mathematically exist, though, and today, we’re going to look into them.

1. LSU wins out

This one is pretty simple: beat a deflated Texas A&M team this weekend, then beat Georgia in the SEC Championship, a game that is already set.

If this happens, there’s no question that LSU makes it in with two losses. In all likelihood, they probably jump to the No. 3 seed, and maybe even further. I project in this scenario, the winner of Michigan/Ohio State takes the No. 1 seed, and Georgia would take the No. 4 seed.

If TCU wins out, they take the No. 2 and LSU is No. 3. If TCU loses, though, LSU could jump to No. 2, and someone like a Pac-12 champion USC, ACC champion Clemson, or a one-loss Michigan could rise to No. 3. There would be a pretty sound argument to put Georgia ahead of any of those teams, but as we saw last year the committee doesn’t seem to favor conference title rematches in the semifinals.

The big issue here is beating Georgia. The Bulldogs have looked unstoppable the past two years, losing just one game. That game though was the SEC championship, which ultimately didn’t matter to them. Assuming Georgia beats Georgia Tech, the same will hold true this year, and LSU could catch the Dawgs napping. This would practically guarantee the Tigers a spot in the playoff.

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