LSU left No. 6 Florida in the fog.
The Tigers upset the Gators 37-34 in The Swamp in an SEC thriller that alters the College Football Playoff picture heading into the final week of the season. Florida (8-2) made too many costly mistakes and short-handed LSU (4-5) took advantage.
What does the result mean for the Gators heading into the SEC championship game? Sporting News breaks it down.
Gators take a bad second loss
Marco Wilson’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the fourth quarter — for tossing a shoe after a third-down stop — is the talking point, but Florida committed three turnovers in the first half and was outplayed by LSU, a 24-point underdog.
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts didn’t play, but Kyle Trask still passed for 474 yards and put the Gators in position to kick the game-tying field goal. Evan McPherson’s 51-yard attempt hooked wide left, however, and that was it.
This is a bad loss for the Gators, and now reality sets in: No two-loss team has ever made the College Football Playoff.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Four in, three out ahead of championship week
Will an SEC title change that?
Florida can make that case with a victory against No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta next week, but there has to be room for the Gators and the Crimson Tide to make that happen.
That’s a complicated path, knowing Ohio State is still undefeated and Notre Dame and Clemson have a rematch in the ACC championship game. Alabama also would have a case even if it loses to the Gators.
It’s another potential headache for the College Football Playoff committee, especially with a one-loss Texas A&M team that beat Florida in the regular season at No. 5 in the rankings.
How much weight does the SEC championship carry? We’re about to find out.
It might be a moot point
Alabama will be heavy favorites in the SEC championship game. The Crimson Tide have averaged 50.6 points per game in their last five victories and they have allowed just 7.2 points per game in that stretch.
Alabama also beat the Gators by an average of 26 points per game in the 2015 and 2016 SEC championship games.
A Florida upset seems unlikely, but it would put the committee to the test for an unprecedented decision. Dan Mullen might want to start that making that case now before the Gators get on the field.
Can you put a two-loss team in? Get ready to hear that question all week.