If you’re an LSU, fan you should consider cheering up Lane Kiffin with a cookie bouquet, or sending Matt Barkley a “hang in there” tweet.
If you think LSU still has a shot at playing for the national championship, the Tigers will need help in a big way from the team Tiger fans love to hate the most – next to Alabama.
Despite being “buried” at No. 5 in this week’s BCS standings behind four undefeated teams – Alabama, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon – the Fighting Tigers still have a fighting chance at playing in the BCS National Championship Game.
Those hopes hinge on two key things:
1. Running the table, which means beating No. 1 Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arkansas and now probably Georgia in the SEC Championship Game
2. Getting an double helping of an assist from Southern California.
USC dropped to 6-2 Saturday with a 39-36 loss at Arizona, and has hardly looked the part of a preseason No. 1 team on the road as it has in losses to the Wildcats and earlier this season at Stanford.
But the Trojans are better at home, and that is where they will have No. 4 Oregon this Saturday and No. 3 Notre Dame to wrap up the regular season on Nov. 24.
USC may look a bit shaky at the moment, but it still has the superb pass-and-catch combo of Matt Barkley and Marqise Lee, and still has a lot to play for itself. It can win the Pac-12 South and still go to the Rose Bowl. And of course beating Notre Dame is always an added bonus.
LSU fans love to cheer loudly in Tiger Stadium when the Trojans lose, but they’ll need to be cheering them on this Saturday night if they want to enhance their team’s chances of reaching the BCS top two.
Of course, beating Alabama is the top and toughest priority. LSU is a 9.5-point underdog against the Crimson Tide, a huge number for a home team that has won an NCAA-best 22 straight home games (longest active streak).
If LSU doesn’t win, it doesn’t matter one bit what USC does against the Ducks and the Irish. The big point spread speaks to the excellence with which Alabama has played this season and LSU’s offensive struggles.
It will be a difficult task for LSU, though not impossible, especially with the home crowd on its side.