Take down Goliath in the SEC title game
The Georgia Bulldogs embarrassed LSU football in the 2022 SEC Championship Game, cruising to a 50-30 win. The Tigers made the box score interesting after Garrett Nussmeier took over the offense. However, one can argue Nussmeier’s numbers were equally the result of Georgia calling off the dogs; no pun intended. Regardless, few LSU football fans can shake the image of Jalen Carter hoisting Jayden Daniels in the air like a living trophy.
We expect the LSU Tigers to get another shot at Georgia under similar circumstances in 2023. However, Brian Kelly’s team will pose a more significant threat to Kirby Smart’s Dawgs than the year prior. LSU has the benefit of continuity on both sides of the football this season. We also anticipate Harold Perkins’ evolution into a game-changing defensive player.
Conversely, Georgia graduated many veteran players to the NFL, including their signal-caller and best defensive lineman. But, of course, it’s foolish to underestimate Smart’s ability to reload, as the Dawgs are full of five-star athletes. However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Alabama’s dynasty with Nick Saban, it’s tough to win three championships in a row.
Ultimately, the Tigers need elite quarterback play to dethrone the defending National Champions. Jayden Daniels or Nussmeier must play at a Heisman level for LSU to win the SEC. The odds are murky but far from impossible.
Winning the SEC title game catapults LSU football to their first CFP appearance since 2019. Some will argue the eventual SEC champion cannot afford more than one loss to finish in the CFP’s top four rankings. We disagree for two reasons. One, it’s unlikely the 2023 SEC champion has more than one loss. We haven’t seen that since the LSU Tigers (10-2) beat Tennessee in the 2007 SEC Championship Game. Second, we have a hunch there will be no undefeated power five teams this season. As a result, ironically, a two-loss conference champion will sneak into the CFP in its final year of the four-team format.
We’re not ready to boldly go into ‘count on the LSU Tigers to win the SEC’ mode quite yet, if at all. However, 2022 taught us that Kelly has his teams much further along than anticipated. Few expected an SEC West title in Kelly’s first year. Thus, we wonder what season two will bring.
LSU’s path is clear, but will the Tigers walk it?