How important is a Week 1 win over Florida State for LSU?
LSU will open the season against Florida State in what’s one of the biggest nonconference games of the year.
Both programs are ascending after exceeding expectations last fall. Both fanbases expect to compete for a conference title this year and maybe more.
According to BetMGM, LSU and Florida State both have a win total of 9.5 and each has a quarterback near the top in Heisman odds.
If that’s not enough, there’s the rematch narrative. You remember what happened last year. LSU stormed back in the fourth quarter only to lose when Florida State blocked an extra point.
This is what college football’s about. Prime time on Sunday night, all eyes will be on this game.
Which begs the question: How important is it?
The winner of this game jumps to the forefront of the national title discussion, but the loser remains alive for the playoff, too.
In LSU’s case, a win allows breathing room. It potentially creates a scenario where LSU can still lose to Alabama and make the playoff as an 11-1 team.
Were LSU to beat Florida State, win out, and beat Alabama, it gives the Tigers some cushion in a potential SEC title game.
For Florida State, the story is a little different. It’s not going to get the same resume-boosting chances in the ACC that LSU will get in the SEC. This could be the ‘Noles lone chance to make a grand statement on the national stage.
There’s a world where FSU loses to LSU and wins the ACC with a 12-1 record, but still misses the playoff.
LSU lost this opener last year and still found itself in the playoff discussion in November. If an SEC team runs the table in conference play, the committee doesn’t pay much attention to what it did outside of it.
Another thing to keep in mind is where the playoff is slated to take place. It’s a Rose and Sugar year. If LSU’s going to make it, it’d much rather play in New Orleans than in southern California.
A win over FSU provides some extra juice toward a No. 1 seed.
This is a huge game and it’ll be covered like one. If LSU goes on to lose, there will be overreactions because that’s what we do after Week 1.
However, nonconference games, no matter their size, could end up mattering little when the playoff committee gets together in September.
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