AUSTIN, Texas — Texas-LSU might be one of the most important games of the college football season and here's why.
LSU's 45-38 win affects the rest of the season in a myriad of ways.
First, the win makes LSU the third SEC team this season to beat a non-conference opponent who is expected to compete for its respective conference title. Florida beat Miami 24-20 in the first week and the Hurricanes are one of a handful of teams expected to play against Clemson in the ACC Championship game. Auburn came back to beat Oregon 27-21 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas in week 1. The Ducks were named as the favorite in the preseason to challenge Utah for the Pac-12 Conference Title. Then, we all know Texas has been a favorite in the preseason and up to this point to challenge Oklahoma for the Big 12 title.
So, why is this important? Here's why that matters: all three of these SEC teams I just mentioned could potentially not even make the SEC Championship game (i.e. Alabama and Georgia are the favorites to take such honors) and all of them beat title contenders in other Power 5 conferences.
Secondly, this win also strongly pushes the idea for two SEC teams to make the College Football Playoff.
Third, LSU could establish a dangerous sense of momentum after beating a top-ten ranked Texas on the road, and roll through its schedule all the way to the Alabama matchup on Nov. 9. An undefeated LSU and an undefeated Alabama would be likely a top five matchup. LSU's offense looked like a well-oiled machine. Joe Burrow carved up the Texas defense left and right. Burrow finished 31/39, 471 yards passing, and four touchdowns.
For Texas, losing to LSU could find the Longhorns on the outside looking in when it comes to making the four-team playoff in December. Texas would have to essentially win out from this point forward. It's hard to argue a two or three loss Texas team would make the playoff unless a ton of other top teams also had multiple losses.
Fox Sports College Football analyst Joel Klatt broke down reasons why he believes this could be one of the most important games of the season.
"If LSU beats Texas... The drumbeat for a second SEC team in the CFP will be deafening," Klatt said.
Let the drumbeats begin.
Texas will look to rebound in Houston on Saturday, Sept. 14 against Rice at NRG Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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