Paul Finebaum let it rip on ESPN’s Get Up on Tuesday, saying this will be the last week the LSU Tigers will be No. 1. He’s probably right about that.
Paul Finebaum is not afraid to give his opinion about all things college football. The popular host of The Paul Finebaum Show on The SEC Network appeared on ESPN’s Get Up on Tuesday morning to tell the LSU Tigers the sad, honest truth: Saturday will be the last time LSU will be No. 1.
Wait, what? Yes, Finebaum went there and he did it in front of a former standout of the Bayou Bengals who might be twice his sized in Marcus Spears. It was a bold take for Mr. SEC football, but he had his reasons for putting down the best team in the SEC, even though LSU is undefeated at 10-0 (6-0) and has the Heisman Trophy frontrunner in quarterback Joe Burrow. He’s also right.
LSU has two games left in its regular-season schedule. Both are home games vs. the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies. Though these are two rival teams of LSU, beating both won’t do much to help the Tigers stay atop the College Football Playoff Rankings by the time they meet the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2019 SEC Championship in Atlanta.
Of course, LSU has to win one of these two games to clinch a berth to the SEC Championship, as the Tigers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC West division race. However, Arkansas is the worst team in the SEC and Texas A&M will likely be a 7-5 (4-4) after the Aggies presumably lose on the road to Georgia and LSU in consecutive weeks.
LSU is at the top spot entering Week 13 because the Tigers have beaten four teams that were ranked in the top-10 at the time of their ball game. However, only Alabama is in the top-10 of the latest College Football Playoff Rankings, as the Auburn Tigers, the Florida Gators and the Texas Longhorns all have multiple loses this season.
Obviously, you can control only what you can control, but LSU has three things working against it heading into Conference Championship Weekend: No more quality wins left before facing Georgia, the Ohio State Buckeyes have a huge rivalry game vs. the Penn State Nittany Lions and LSU’s defense has seen better days.
We’ve touched on the lack of quality wins left on LSU’s schedule. Beating Arkansas is the equivalent of beating an FCS team during homecoming at this point. Texas A&M will have four or five regular-season losses before the Aggies play in their meaningless holiday season bowl game.
Ohio State is the biggest reason LSU will drop from No. 1 to No. 2 in next week’s College Football Playoff Rankings. The Buckeyes have been the most dominant team in college football. Ohio State has two more quality games left on its regular-season slate vs. Penn State and on the road vs. the archrival Michigan Wolverines in The Big House. Ohio State will be the new No. 1 team in the land.
So about that LSU defense…This is not the LSU team we’ve known for years: Great defense with a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach offensively. LSU’s passing game has been electrifying with Joe Brady as its coordinator and Burrow has his on-field maestro. However, anybody can run on this LSU defense, a defense that has given up at least four touchdowns five times. Not great.
Though legions of Bayou Bengals will clamor that the champions of Death Valley should remain the No. 1 team in the country after scoring 75 points on the worst Arkansas team we’ve ever seen, Ohio State will leapfrog the Tigers in the rankings by getting a convincing win at home over Penn State in Week 13. Southerners may hate what Finebaum said, but he’ll be right come Tuesday night.