Using ESPN’s FPI (Football Power Index) as a guide, No. 15 LSU (4-1, 0-1) has a 31.0 percent chance to win at No. 5 Auburn (4-0, 1-0) on Saturday.


“I’ve never felt the underdog role is something we’ve embraced,” Les Miles told the media in his Monday press conference. “I think there is an enjoyment with playing as LSU, and I think that’s what we will play with.”

Well, coach, here’s a newsflash: the LSU Tigers are behind the eight-ball going into Saturday’s game against the favored Auburn Tigers. Auburn is undefeated despite a lackluster offense that looks far weaker than last year’s SEC championship version, although their win over Arkansas is looking more solid as the Razorbacks prove they’re no pushover.

Surely, Miles doesn’t want his freshman quarterback to get into an underdog mentality. Brandon Harris is making his first start, and it comes in one of the more raucous environments in the conference. Harris should be preparing for this game just as he would any other, not a game that could break LSU’s already cracked season.

What will it take for LSU to pull the upset? First, the defense will have to look like the fearsome gold-and-purple units of years past, stifling the run and blanketing receivers. The offense will have to hit some big plays, and establishing their own running game would certainly help.

Maybe Miles is right in saying his Tigers shouldn’t think of themselves as underdogs, because playing with that mentality isn’t what they need. If LSU wins, it’ll be because they played like what we think of when talking about LSU football.