LSU football: Florida game could decide the Tigers’ fate

LSU football was humbled over the weekend. The Tigers were riding a four-game winning streak that had fans believing the rebuild was accelerated in Brian Kelly’s first year. Unfortunately, we know that’s no longer the case. The Bayou Bengals aren’t in the same place as Tennessee right now—that’s OK! There are destined to be some growing pains during this transitional period.

LSU needs to take a page out of Ted Lasso’s book going forward and be a goldfish. The team needs to focus solely on the future as what’s in the past cannot be changed. The Tigers are still in a very good position to succeed this year at 4-2 overall (2-1 in SEC play). All of that being said, the Bayou Bengals’ trip to Florida this weekend could decide their fate this season.

LSU football: Florida game could decide the Tigers’ fate this season

The Southeastern Conference has learned quickly that nothing is a given when playing intraconference contests. Even the cream of the crop has been taught this lesson firsthand. Looking at you, Alabama (vs. Texas A&M) and Georgia (at Mizzou). As mentioned earlier, Kelly’s team currently sits at 4-2. The Tigers can taste bowl eligibility but to reach the necessary win total, they will need to win at least one more conference game.

I’m not one to usually gift teams victories. For the sake of this analysis though, let’s say LSU takes care of business against UAB in a few weeks. That gives the Bayou Bengals five wins, which means they will have to reach the three-win mark in SEC play for a 23rd consecutive season.

Why does any of this matter?

Florida is one of the most beatable opponents remaining on LSU’s schedule. While it’s true the Gators played Tennessee a lot closer than their purple and gold foes, they have been wildly inconsistent all season.

Florida has played up or down to its opposition thus far. The Gators have a hugely impressive win over Utah, in addition to good, close losses to Kentucky and the Vols in conference play. At the same time, they left it late against both USF and Missouri at home. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium doesn’t seem to be the unpenetrable fortress it was a decade ago.

There is a real opportunity here for LSU to bounce back. The Tigers still have chances to clinch their spot in a bowl game against Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas A&M following the trip to Gainesville. The former duo will be incredibly tough tasks.

If Kelly and his men want to get to six wins as quickly as possible, they need to put on a show at the Swamp. The Bayou Bengals are more than capable of going on the road and playing spoiler, as Auburn found out brutally a couple of weeks ago. While this is one of the most inconsequential LSU-Florida games in recent memory due to the mediocrity of each program at. the moment, this is still a huge matchup for both teams’ immediate future.