You won’t see LSU in anyone’s playoff predictions this week after that week one drubbing from Florida State.
LSU entered the game as the No. 5 team in the country and a 2.5 point favorite but could not hang with the Seminoles in the second half. LSU looked outclassed in every phase of the game.
Brian Kelly put it bluntly after the game.
“We must’ve thought we were the two-time defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs,” he said.
It begs questions about what the expectation should be for LSU going forward.
LSU should beat Grambling this weekend and still be favored against Mississippi State and Arkansas in the coming weeks.
Those are now must-wins for LSU. Not just from a playoff standpoint, but from a program momentum outlook. Losing to Florida State is forgivable, though ideally, it wouldn’t have been as lopsided.
Dropping one to Mississippi State or Arkansas, two programs projected to finish in the bottom half of the SEC, wouldn’t be nearly as excusable. Especially in a year when LSU was expected to compete for a lot more.
Everything LSU wants is still in front of it. That doesn’t mean this is a playoff team. I never thought it was. But I still like LSU’s chances of a New Year’s Six bowl. That should remain the expectation.
As for the SEC West race, we’ll learn some things this weekend. Texas A&M and Ole Miss have tough contests with Miami and Tulane. Those games could provide a good litmus test for gauging the floor of those teams.
I don’t like LSU’s chances of winning on the road in Tuscaloosa right now, but a lot can change before November. This team is still better than it was after week one last year. That should provide some solace to Tiger fans.
And according to F+, LSU remains the second-best team in the West despite the size of the loss.
The expectation here should still be double-digit wins.