Texas A&M football: Is LSU so bad that it hurts the Aggies' Playoff chances?
It seems like it has been forever since we’ve actually watched Texas A&M play football.
The Aggies have postponed games the past 2 weeks because of positive COVID-19 cases in the program. As a result, they might have started to slip out of minds nationwide. But let’s not forget this was a surging team 2 weeks ago. It’s a team that is still in contention for the biggest prize of all.
But they clearly don’t have the perfect College Football Playoff resume.
A relatively unchallenging remaining schedule is one thing that could keep the Aggies out. It helps their chances of finishing 9-1, but it prevents them from earning another marquee win to pair with their 41-38 victory against Florida.
LSU is looming, assuming A&M can play.
At the beginning of the season, expectations were that the Tigers could be one of the Aggies’ chances at that resume-building victory. Many thought LSU had a shot to be one of those final 4 teams, as they started the season at No. 6 in the AP poll.
But the Tigers have endured plenty of adversity.
They were already hard-pressed to replace Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, plus receivers Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. Then Burrow’s successor, Myles Brennan, went down for the season with an abdominal injury. A couple of weeks later, they had a COVID-19 outbreak of their own that caused them to postpone their game with Alabama.
All this has resulted in a 3-3, unranked LSU squad. Which raises the question: Are the Tigers so bad they could hurt the Aggies’ resume?
In a way, yes. All the remaining teams on the schedule are.
Before the halt in play, the Aggies were beginning to look like one of the most dominant teams in college football. All eyes will be on them as they retake the field. Can they pick up where they left off and keep themselves in the national conversation?
I believe they can and will, but even then, they could still miss the Playoff. And it’s because of the lack of opportunities in the remaining games.
Jimbo Fisher has said multiple times that the Aggies can only focus on winning the games they have. They can’t afford to worry about everyone else’s opinions. While true, it’s also an incredibly frustrating position to be in.
The Aggies could continue winning in convincing fashion but still be on the outside looking in. It largely depends on what happens in the SEC Championship Game. If Florida wins, they would undoubtedly get in as the SEC champion.
That would sting even more considering A&M beat the Gators. But it’s impossible to argue against keeping the SEC champion out. It seems equally impossible that the Aggies would then somehow jump Alabama to make it.
ESPN gave the Aggies a 6.7 percent chance to make the Playoff a week ago. That was behind Cincinnati, BYU and, you guessed it, Florida. So those are the odds they’re up against.
It would be a shame if this team, which has a great quarterback in Kellen Mond, a dominant rushing game and an ever-improving defense, doesn’t get a chance to win it all. But it also wouldn’t be the wrong call. This unique season makes things even more difficult than they normally are.
LSU isn’t the team we thought they would be. Neither is Tennessee. Auburn might be the closest, but they wouldn’t be a difference-making win.
Just a year after the Aggies faced 5 top-10 teams (and three No. 1s), it could be a lack of those games that keeps them out this season.