LSU football’s season has been a rollercoaster ride thus far. The Tigers started the year on a climb as the anticipation of the Brian Kelly era grew. It peaked on the opening Sunday before the track plummeted immediately after the heartbreaking loss. It’s reached its visible pinnacle after the last two weeks though with wins over Southern and Mississippi State.
The Bayou Bengals have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. A third win is well within reach with New Mexico coming to Baton Rouge this weekend, as well. One point is all that’s stood between LSU and an undefeated season up until this point. While the past cannot be altered, it’s this fact that frustrates fans as another week goes by when the Tigers are unranked in the latest AP Top 25.
LSU football: The Tigers are unranked in the latest AP Top 25 Poll
It goes without saying that the frustration with the AP Poll is minimal. Rankings are arbitrary in the grand scheme of things after all. Some would go as far as to claim they are useless, at least until those of the College Football Playoff committee are released toward the end of the year.
LSU has largely suffered in these rankings due to the fact it was unranked coming into the season. It’s incredibly difficult for teams outside of the initial rankings to break in, especially with one loss early on. Just ask Florida State, who is 3-0 and has wins over LSU and Louisville within the first three weeks. The Seminoles came from behind to win with a backup quarterback on the road last week, and despite receiving votes the week before, still couldn’t crack the Top 25.
The Tigers’ fate is largely tied with that of Florida State after their Week 1 clash. The moment the Seminoles break into the rankings, LSU’s 24-23 defeat on the opening weekend looks a lot better. This is especially true if the Bayou Bengals continue to win conference games.
The Lobos of New Mexico (2-1 overall; 0-1 in the Mountain West) are coming to Death Valley this weekend as the Tigers set to take on their third non-conference opponent of the season. New Mexico is nowhere near the aforementioned Top 25. Even though a win on Saturday would lift LSU to 3-1 overall, it’s unlikely this would be the performance to elevate Kelly’s team into the poll.
Florida State, on the other hand, welcomes Boston College to Tallahassee. A win would take the Seminoles to 4-0 and likely see them enter the rankings as they’re currently receiving the second-most votes amongst unranked programs. LSU (six votes) still has a long way to go.
The purple and gold faithful need to hope that Mike Norvell’s squad keeps on rolling in the ACC. Meanwhile, the Tigers will need to take care of business and get some help from elsewhere if they’re to earn a ranking in the near future.
A win over Auburn in early October at Jordan-Hare Stadium could potentially see LSU improve to 4-1 overall. Even though the Tigers (Aubie, not Mike) aren’t off to a great start, The Plains aren’t an easy place to triumph. A victory in Auburn would certainly legitimize LSU’s resume going forward. The unfortunate reality is that we’ll have to wait a bit longer for that clash to happen.