There’s going to be plenty on the line when undefeated No. 1 Alabama faces No. 4 LSU in Death Valley on Nov 3.
Alabama has defeated LSU seven straight times heading into this year’s primetime edition of the rivalry.
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 22, 2018
Saturday Down South writer Jim Tomlin believes the winner of that showdown will be well-positioned to solidify a spot in the College Football Playoff if they run the table the rest of the way.
Tomlin says a victory is imperative for one-loss LSU based on the results that transpired in Week 9.
“Is LSU one of the four best teams in the country? I think so, yes,” Tomlin said. “Does that mean the Tigers are going to the College Football Playoff? Probably not, but the issue is a bit more complicated after Saturday’s action.”
For as dominant as the SEC is, having two losses would significantly damper LSU’s CFP hopes according to Tomlin.
“If Alabama runs the table and wins the league title unbeaten, the SEC won’t have any one-loss teams,” Tomlin said. “I said last week that the CFP won’t take a 2-loss non-champion. I still believe that.”
Tomlin cites history for his argument.
“The CFP committee has chosen 1-loss non-champions before — Alabama got to the semifinals that way last year and Ohio State the year before,” Tomlin said. “But those were 1-loss teams. Not 2-loss teams. I simply don’t see a scenario where a 1-loss league champion — let’s say Texas, for now — stays home in favor of a 2-loss team that does not win the SEC. Not even a team as good as LSU. Or Georgia, or Florida, or Kentucky, whichever team shows up in Atlanta as the East Division representative for the SEC title game.”
Meanwhile, an Alabama loss to LSU would alter the CFP landscape.
“Of course if LSU or anybody else beats Bama, then we have a whole new ballgame,” Tomlin said. “We shall know more in two weeks when the Tigers and Crimson Tide meet.”