LSU rose to fifth place in the latest College Football Qualifiers rankings, a bit of a surprise after the Associated Press put USC ahead of the Tigers in the latest poll. The CFP committee resisted the urge to do the same and was justified in doing so.
Committee head Boo Corrigan told ESPN after revealing that the main reason LSU lost twice to USC to one was that the committee didn’t believe the Trojans’ defenses were strong enough. The numbers back up the worries.
USC (10-1, 8-1 in Pac-12) had three good defensive performances against opponent Pac-12. Against Colorado (1-10, 1-7 in Pac-12), Oregon State (8-3, 5-3 in Pac-12) and Washington State (7-4, 4-4 in Pac-12), the team dropped an average of 16.7 points and 298.3 yards.
The team has played badly in other conference games.
It’s only fair that the Trojans struggled to slow down to 14th Utah (8-3, 6-2 in Pac-12) and UCLA number (8-3, 5-3 in Pac-12); USC dropped 88 points and 1,075 yards in those two games.
It’s puzzling that defenses have averaged 31.3 points and 446 yards away for four teams — Arizona, Arizona State, California and Stanford — whose combined records are 14-30 and 7-26 in the Pac-12.
In a “Butterfly Effect” fashion, Utah’s loss in Week 1 to the under-ranked Florida (6-5, 3-5 in the SEC) could be the reason why USC is consistently behind the LSU team that lost two games.
Utah lost to Florida 29-26 and then went on to beat USC 43-42 on October 15. That same day, LSU went to Florida and won 45-35. The Utah-Florida results in that opening week were significant. A top Pac-12 team losing to a mediocre SEC team should be considered when assessing the strength of two conferences.
LSU (9-2, 6-1 at SEC) lost big, even as Florida State No. 16 (8-3, 5-3 at ACC) turned out to be much better than pre-season predictions. A 27-point loss to 10th-placed Tennessee (9-2, 5-2 in the SEC) seems to suggest this LSU team has its limitations, but certainly defense has improved a lot since that loss. . Freshman Harold Perkins Jr. emerged as one of the best defenders in football with outstanding performances against 7 Alabama (9-2, 5-2 in SEC) and Arkansas (6-5, 3-4 in SEC) in October. 11.
The Tigers seem to have overcome their defensive struggle while the USC remains clear. Some might see LSU’s offense as a major weakness like the Trojans’ defenses, but LSU ranks 34th in points per game (33.4) while USC ranks 68th in points per game. spells per match (26.3). Ineffective games against Auburn (5-6, 2-5 in the SEC) and Arkansas for LSU were the exception, not the rule.
ESPN’s Football Strength Index backing the Tigers, ranking them 10th and USC 14th. LSU (#8) ranked one place higher in the rankings. the power of the record The Tigers (No. 15) stats and schedule strength are significantly better than what USC (No. 58) faced.
The SEC Championship on December 3 will settle the debate once and for all. An easy win by LSU gives them a stronger resume than anything USC could pull off in the last two games despite the Trojans taking on two ranked teams, No. 15 Notre Dame (8 -3) and number 9 Oregon (9-2, 7- 1 in Pac-12) or number 13 Washington (9-2, 6-2 in Pac-12).
If LSU loses — as many expected — USC will roll out the red carpet for it when it first appears in the CFP. Or maybe not.
It is likely that the Trojans will lose one of their last two games as ESPN only gives USC a 31.7% chance of winning the remaining matches. FPI predicts USC will end on February 11th.
The CFP committee made its decision on Tuesday. USC is definitely in the knockout stages but winning a spot won’t be easy. The Trojan will have to earn it.