According to FiveThirtyEight, LSU now has a 22% chance to make the playoff — the highest that number’s been all year. ESPN’s FPI gives LSU a 7.5% chance of making the playoffs. It’s not great, but it’s better it was entering week 12.
If LSU wins out, the FiveThirtyEight model gives the Tigers a 94% shot at cutting.
At 9-2 and a spot in the SEC Championship game, LSU had a chance to be the first two-loss team in the playoff, but Tennessee was standing in its way. Tennessee had just one loss and a head-to-head win over LSU. That might have been enough for the committee to slate the Vols ahead of the Tigers. With Tennessee picking up its second loss, that’s not the question.
Not every result was a positive one for LSU. USC beat UCLA, adding a ranked win to its resume. USC has one loss and is finally putting together a resume. The Trojans are the Pac-12’s last hope, and with a ranked Notre Dame and Pac-12 title game remaining on the schedule.
Should the Trojans run the table, they’d be difficult to leave out. But FiveThirtyEight gives USC just a 33% chance of winning out — good news for LSU.
When it comes to TCU, FiveThirtyEight gives the Horned Frogs just a 41% chance of winning out. Do the math, and that’s about a 14% chance that both win. If LSU beats A&M and finds a way to beat Georgia, a path should be cleared.