No. 2 Georgia-No. 13 LSU: De Facto CFP Elimination Game?

No. 2 Georgia at No. 13 LSU is the marquee matchup in Week 7 of the college football season, and we’ll tell you why the loser of this SEC showdown will likely be out of CFP consideration (eventually).

 

It sounds premature to believe that a loss this week to LSU could put the Georgia Bulldogs out of College Football Playoff (CFP) contention as they would still be 5-1 and either tied or in control of the top spot in the SEC East depending on how their closest rivals fare. But the Dawgs have three tough opponents on the docket with divisional rivals No. 14 Florida and No. 18 Kentucky next in line followed by another SEC foe in No. 21 Auburn. The scheduling gods were not kind to Georgia but even if they vanquish these top-notch teams, there is one other bit of business that could get in the way of a one-way ticket to the championship tournament with a loss already on the slate … a date with Alabama in the SEC title game.

Yes, if Georgia loses on Saturday and then rolls through the rest of the regular season slate en route to an 11-1 record then it would essentially be a must win against, what we will assume will be the SEC West champion Crimson Tide, in the title game. If Georgia does fall to Alabama, the Dawgs would have two losses on their slate and no team has ever made the CFP with more than one loss. Nothing short of another crack at the crown will assuage the Bulldogs or their fans, and this showdown with the Tigers this weekend could very well tell the tale for the rest of the season.

Speaking of dire circumstances, LSU is in basically the same predicament. The Tigers were No. 5 in the AP poll until the Florida Gators pulled a mild upset in the Swamp this past weekend with a 27-19 victory and sent LSU home with their first blemish on their record. The Tigers don’t have the option of meeting Alabama in the SEC title game being stuck in the same division but host the Tide on the first Saturday of next month, a series Bama has owned that series of late. Even if LSU were to win this game and vs. Bama (very unlikely) it likely would have to face Georgia again in the SEC Championship Game.

Now that we have considered the consequences for both teams, let’s get to the game at hand. As we check out what the best online sportsbooks are dealing over at Sportsbook Review we see that Georgia is a seven-point road favorite across the board.

Both of these teams are 3-3 against the spread (ATS) this season but one side has some interesting trends working in its favor in terms of covering the number. The Bulldogs are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game, 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record, 6-1 ATS over their last seven games following a straight up win of more than 20 points, 6-1 ATS in their last seven after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game, and 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS cover.

So put your helmet on and buckle up your chin strap because this one should be a dandy on Saturday. The SEC is in the spotlight again and the consequences of this showdown between Georgia and LSU could very well determine the fate of the rest of the season for at least one team – the loser.

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