LSU has reached its open date.

It needs the time off. Badly.

The Tigers are 4-4 and 2-3 in the SEC after a 31-17 loss at Ole Miss last Saturday.

They are going nowhere this season and they already have had a season’s worth of tribulations.

Projected starting quarterback Myles Brennan was lost to injury before preseason practice even began.

The team was displaced to Houston by Hurricane Ida to complete preparations for the season-opener at UCLA.

LSU lost that game and has never fully recovered, leading to the dismissal of head coach Ed Orgeron, effective at the end of the season.

And now it’s Tell the Truth Monday – open date edition.

The Tigers can rest, regroup, recharge and get ready to go to Alabama on Nov. 6. They still have 3 games in Tiger Stadium after that.

But the truth is: There is very little that this team can accomplish during the final third of this season.

Technically the Tigers can become bowl eligible and that would be an accomplishment. But that would require them not only beating Louisiana-Monroe in their second-to-last game, but also beating 1 of their 3 remaining SEC opponents (Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M).

LSU’s uneven play against Ole Miss and its mostly sub-par play this season suggests winning another SEC game is unlikely. Besides, sneaking into a minor bowl to prolong this season would be pretty minor as accomplishments for this program go.

This last month of the Orgeron era has much less to do with the remaining games than it has to do with mitigating the damage done to the program and finding the right successor to lead the program forward.

One significant recruit – 4-star wide receiver/return specialist Aaron Anderson from Karr High School in New Orleans – already has decommitted in the week since Orgeron’s imminent departure was announced.

Surely other commitments and undecided recruits are re-evaluating the attractiveness of LSU.

Orgeron said he will continue to point recruits toward LSU just as passionately as he did before, and given his affinity for the school and the program, he should be taken at his word. Presumably, his staff will do all they can to preach patience and open-mindedness to recruits until a new coach is on board.

But the fact remains that keeping and landing recruits is going to remain an uncertain process until the high-school players know who’s going to be LSU’s football coach in 2022.

And given the rate at which players have bailed on the Tigers in the past 2 years, the re-recruitment efforts won’t be limited to players yet to arrive on campus.

And whether LSU wins or loses against Alabama, Arkansas, ULM and Texas A&M isn’t going to change that.

Whether the Tigers finish 6-6 and go to a bowl, or finish 5-7, or 4-8 – or even have a winning record or run the table – isn’t going to change it either.

Nor is anything that happens in those games going to impact who ultimately becomes the new head coach.

Whoever Scott Woodward targets as Orgeron’s successor is going to decide whether to accept based on money, job security and the ability to succeed and grow compared to wherever they are right now.

The advantages and disadvantages of the LSU job won’t change based on anything that happens in these remaining games.

Presumably, Orgeron and his staff will work just as hard to win these remaining games as they have all the others.

Presumably, the players will compete just as hard and just as passionately in these remaining games as they have in all the others.

But the truth is that the last third of Ed Orgeron’s last season at LSU is essentially meaningless.

Everything from here on out is about preparing for 2022 and beyond.