Analyst: LSU/Alabama Showdown "Playoff Semifinal"

Saturday is "absolutely" an elimination game for LSU, Bryan Fischer says

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
November 02, 2018 - 9:22 am

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No. 3 LSU (7-1) has beaten four ranked teams this season, including three in the top 10. The Tigers defeated then-No. 8 Miami in their season-opener, then-No. 7 Auburn at Jordan-Hare two weeks later, and No. 2 Georgia on Oct. 13.

That’s an impressive resume.

Nevertheless, LSU’s showdown with No. 1 Alabama (8-0) this Saturday is an elimination game for the Tigers.

“Absolutely,” College Football Talk national writer Bryan Fischer said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I know they’ve beaten some solid teams, and the committee talked about all their wins up to this point. But this is a semifinal game for the playoffs. There’s no doubt about it. The winner controls their fate in the SEC West and in the conference at large.”

Alabama has looked unstoppable this season, winning every game by at least 22 points. Which is why the Tide enter as 14.5-point favorites.

“I think (LSU would) still have quite a bit of respect (even if they lose),” Fischer said. “(The committee would) probably (rank them) ahead of a Washington State or a Kentucky or a Georgia. But I think this is certainly a massive game, and it’s one that neither team can really afford (to lose) because there’s so many good candidates to take up one of those spots.”

LSU has been stout defensively and might have the best secondary in the nation. The offense, however, has been inconsistent and, at times, ineffective.

“I question LSU on offense still,” Fischer said. “I know that it has been nice to see some big plays made out of the quarterback, Joe Burrow, but can he make enough against Alabama, who’s had that extra time to prepare? And he’s got to be consistent. This is an LSU offense that has got to move the chains. They can’t go 3-and-out. They can’t have those zero- and negative-yardage plays and get behind on third down. That’s when Alabama can really get after you. I think their pass rush might even be a little bit underrated this season given what they can throw at you along that defensive line. For LSU, it all comes down to offense. They’ve got to have consistency on that side of the ball.”

Kickoff is at 8 p.m. ET.