USA TODAY writer takes contrarian view about LSU being safely in the Playoff
Coming into Championship Week, the wide-ranging theory about the projected College Football Playoff field is that LSU has done enough so far this season, with wins over Florida, Auburn and Alabama, that even with a loss in the SEC Championship Game, the Tigers are safe for the CFP.
But USA TODAY college football writer Paul Myerberg sees it differently. He shared the opinion on the AP Top 25 podcast with Ralph Russo that a Georgia win could knock LSU out of the Playoff. If that’s the case, the committee would likely choose Utah, or the Big 12 champion between Baylor and Oklahoma.
Here’s their exchange:
Myerberg: If Georgia beats LSU, I’m not willing to say LSU’s going to stay in the top 4.
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Russo: Really, because that’s the default position right now. All LSU has to do is show up and they’re going to get in the Playoff no matter what happens in the SEC Championship Game.
Myerberg: That means the committee is willing to say to a group of people who represent a variety of conferences and levels of competition we believe the second best team in the SEC without a conference championship is better than these two Power 5 conference champions, who are both 12-1. They’d be willing to say that?
Russo: I do think they could be No. 1 if they roll Georgia. … Most people aren’t planting their flag on that hill, but you think that that’s a possibility?
Myerberg: That is a moment that would create a rift in the Playoff that would speed up the timeline that they want to go on, which is another 4 years to an astronomical speed. You don’t want to make that statement. Look, I don’t know why you can just say that LSU at 12-1, having lost their biggest game of the season, with the fact that beating Alabama is really no hot shake anymore, I don’t know why you automatically pencil them in to the top 4. You have built in excuses that they didn’t win their conference, that the defense has been abysmal.
Russo: But it hasn’t been abysmal. It’s been not great, but they’re like 29th in the country in yards per play, it has not been abysmal.
Myerberg: It’s been bad. I’m saying that, but Rob Mullens has said the same thing.