LSU-Alabama will shape the College Football Playoff race

Who would’ve thought LSU would be playing a football game in November with not just SEC West but College Football Playoff impacts in Brian Kelly’s first season?

There have been highs and lows for the Tigers, but as they enter the final month of the regular season, they control their destiny in the division and at least nominally have a shot at the final four.

All that is predicated on beating Alabama this weekend and the contest was listed by USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg as one of the November contests that will shape the CFP race as we approach the home stretch of the season.

The SEC West is on the line as Alabama takes on an LSU team making rapid improvements in Brian Kelly’s first season. With enough chaos, the Tigers could conceivably make the playoff with a clean run through December, which would include wins against the Crimson Tide and in the SEC championship game. Alabama has no room for error and would land in the New Year’s Six with one loss in November.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the SEC Champion misses the College Football Playoff, but with two losses, the Tigers would likely need some help. Losses by either TCU or Clemson would certainly go a long way toward helping their case.

We’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves, though. For any of that to matter, LSU will need to knock off Alabama on Saturday for just the second time since 2011. The Crimson Tide are always going to be one of the most talented rosters in college football, but this is a vulnerable team and the most evenly matched the series has been since LSU’s last win.

We’ll see if Kelly can pull off the upset in a matchup between top-10 opponents.

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What do the analytics say about LSU and Alabama?

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire