They Won’t Get It, But LSU Deserves A Spot In The College Football Playoffs
Sitting at 6-3, LSU’s season is mathematically over. The Alabama Crimson Tide have clinched the division championship, and with three losses and a rather low top 25 ranking, the Tigers would need something greater than a miracle to get one of the four spots in the College Football Playoffs.
Coming into the season, this team was ranked in the top-five and was one of the betting favorites to play in both the conference and national championships. Les Miles and the Tigers were loaded on both sides of the ball, and with talk that quarterback Brandon Harris had finally taken steps forward, LSU looked to be a very dangerous team.
Well, Harris was not what the coaching staff advertised, and the team went 2-2 in their first four games. Les Miles was fired, and the 2016 season looked to be a “what could have been” type of year.
But as Ed Orgeron took over the program in an interim role, that feeling quickly faded. He stepped to the podium on day one and delivered a message of resounding confidence, and it translated onto the field seamlessly. As a result of a few adjustments, the Tiger offense finally started to click, and LSU lit it up in the first three games following the coaching change.
After wins over Missouri, Southern Miss, and Ole Miss, the buzz was back just in time for the Alabama game. LSU was back inside the top 15, and a win over the top-ranked Crimson Tide would have vaulted the Tigers near the top of the rankings and SEC West standings. The team had a lot of confidence going into the game, but as Nick Saban’s team took a lead late in the fourth, the collective heart of Tiger Nation was crushed.
With the loss, we knew our Tigers were no longer in any kind of position to contend for a championship at any level. In a season with a lot of turmoil, it really isn’t that surprising. When you have to make a midseason change at both head coach and the quarterback position, chances are you aren’t coming anywhere close to the conference title or playoffs.
But this LSU team is different. This bunch is one of the most talented groups we’ve seen in a while, and from a pure talent perspective, they absolutely have the merit to be a playoff team. After playing Alabama closer than anyone has all year long and going on the road and beating Arkansas by 28, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind of that.
Obviously, LSU is not going to make the College Football Playoff, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t better than most of the teams that will. Whether it’s Clemson, Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan, or any of the other teams in the top 10, I would take the Tigers over every team aside from the Crimson Tide.
When Ed Orgeron took over, he asked everyone to judge this team on their “new season.” The old staff had done a very poor job with the roster, and Coach O didn’t want to have that effect his team going forward. Well, in the new season, LSU has obliterated four opponents and only lost by 10 to an Alabama team that is absolutely dismantling anyone and everyone in their way.
As the regular season comes to a close, this season is unquestionably one to be tagged “what could have been?” The LSU Tigers have the talent to be one of the country’s best teams, and if a couple of questions had been addressed earlier, this year could have very well played out much differently. Ed Orgeron’s team won’t get into the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the best in the nation.
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