LSU has already won SEC West.
Heading to Atlanta on December 3rd to play Georgia for the SEC Championship.
Nothing that happens in the regular season finals at Texas A&M on Saturday will change that.
But the Tigers still have a lot at stake against the Aggies, who are the opposite of them.
LSU is arguably college football’s biggest surprise team this season, and A&M is arguably college football’s most disappointing team.
But this is the SEC, and everyone has talented players — and the Aggies have more talent than most, despite their underperformance.
It was barely a week ago when the Tigers went to Arkansas and almost got angered by the Razorbacks. So you know that visiting College Station can be dangerous — and despite their guaranteed trip to Atlanta, can be damaging.
LSU, who easily managed UAB 41-10 on Saturday night at Tiger Stadium, is No. 6 in the CFP rankings.
If it beats No. 1 Georgia, it has a chance of entering the CFP. Of course, other outcomes and the CFP Committee’s assessment will also be important factors in the Tigers’ fate.
But none of that matters if LSU loses to Texas A&M.
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First and foremost, the Tigers must beat the Aggies to keep their highest aspirations alive.
But there’s more at stake than just walking away with a win lest they dashed their playoff hopes.
They need to play their best game of the season to beat Georgia – way better than they played against Ole Miss, even better than they played against Alabama.
LSU’s game against A&M is an opportunity to hone their game to the point where they will be primed to potentially beat Georgia.
Head coach Brian Kelly seemed to have that on his mind on Saturday as he played many starters longer than necessary to secure the win and tried to stay ahead.
Certainly, next week’s game presents an even better opportunity to sharpen further.
It’s an opportunity for the offensive line to continue their seasonal growth and take on the really talented Aggies defensive front in preparation to take on the Bulldogs’ elite defensive front.
It’s an opportunity for Jayden Daniels to continue the momentum of his performance against UAB (297 passing yards, 111 rushing yards) as he became the first LSU quarterback to throw for 290 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game.
Daniels needs to be smart, efficient and dynamic against Georgia.
It’s an opportunity for Kayshon Boutte to continue trying to regain some semblance of the late 2020/early 2021 version of himself.
It’s an opportunity to clarify the running back position as Josh Williams and Armoni Goodwin were held out on Saturday, John Emery Jr. fumbled twice and Noah Cain became a major factor.
It’s an opportunity for the defense to continue their development so they can contain Stetson Bennett IV and Georgia’s offense enough that Daniels has a chance to make a difference.
It’s an opportunity for the special teams to look back on their recurring disasters and emerge as a positive factor in a championship boost.
It’s an opportunity for Kelly and his staff to identify the areas most in need of sharpening for the Georgia game and use the game against the Aggies to make the sharpening.
No. 5 Tennessee’s loss to South Carolina on Saturday night did LSU very well. Certainly, the Tigers will be No. 5 when the CFP rankings update Tuesday night.
With No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan playing next Saturday, LSU should have an opportunity to overtake the loser and enter the CFP if the Tigers win the last 2 — although nothing is guaranteed when subjective decisions are made will.
And all CFP speculation becomes moot if LSU can’t pull off the most unlikely single-season winning feat in two weeks.
But none of that matters unless the Tigers beat the Aggies.
That’s at stake for LSU.