LSU Football will play its final game of the 2021 season on Tuesday night when they take on the Kansas State Wildcats in the Texas Bowl.
The Wildcats are 7-5 this season, with close losses to Oklahoma and Baylor.
LSU, meanwhile, is 6-6. The Tigers became bowl eligible after knocking off the Texas A&M Aggies in the season finale.
This is going to be a strange game for LSU. The program has a new head coach in Brian Kelly, who replaced Ed Orgeron shortly after the win against Texas A&M. But Kelly won’t be coaching the Tigers in the bowl game. Instead, the team will be coached by interim head coach and offensive line coach Brad Davis.
A loss to Kansas State would be terrible and also mean nothing for LSU football
According to The Athletic’s Brody Miller, the Tigers will only have 39 scholarship players available for the game against Kansas State (due to opt-outs and injury).
That’s an insanely low number.
Additionally, the Tigers aren’t expected to have a scholarship quarterback available for the game. True freshman quarterback Garrett Nussmeier isn’t expected to play in the game (so he won’t burn his redshirt), leaving wide receiver Jontre Kirklin, a former high school quarterback, as LSU’s top option at the position.
Due to the severe lack of players, a loss to the Wildcats would essentially mean absolutely nothing.
No one should expect a team led by an interim coach with zero-depth to compete against another Power-5 program. It’s just not realistic (especially without a quarterback).
There’s nothing we can read into a loss in this matchup. It would just be a loss by a team in a tough spot. Nothing more, nothing less.
However, there’s one major thing at stake for LSU in this game.
The Tigers haven’t had a losing season since 1999.
LSU’s incredible streak of winning seasons is second only to Oklahoma.
If the Tigers lose to the Wildcats, they’ll finish with a 6-7 record. It will be the end of an amazing streak.
Ultimately, the streak means very little. Everyone knows LSU has been one of the most consistent programs in the nation over the last two decades.
But it will still be a shame to see it come to an end.
Of course, who knows — maybe the Tigers pull it off and beat Kansas State with a depleted roster.
Crazier things have happened.