Over the next 8 days, the LSU Tigers will play, arguably, the toughest stretch of games for any team in the nation. All three teams they will play are ranked in the top 15 right now. Two of the games are on the road, with the home game being against the current #2 team in the nation, Kentucky. The first game is against the current #14 team Florida, while next is against the current #15 Mississippi State. Judgement Week is technically near the end of February, but I think after this week, the Tigers will have already faced their judgement.
On the one hand, this is a brutal stretch that could doom the Tigers and their NCAA hopes. On the other hand, this could be the point in the season where we steal a win, or two, to put ourselves into a position not only in the tournament, but beyond the bubble. As with all tough games, the risk is high, but the reward is even greater.
Winning a single game during this stretch would be big. A current 12-6 record doesn't give the Tigers many more mulligans. They simply can't give away anymore games. Northwestern, at the time, was an OK loss for the team. They battled hard, but it was a shiny resume win that they don't have anymore. South Alabama was a game very similar to the last game against Auburn, except that the Tigers were the ones who struggled and lost in OT. Virginia came down to Baton Rouge with a huge winning streak, and kept it in tact with some great management in the final minutes. All of those games were winnable games for LSU that just slipped away.
Now that LSU has finally crossed that mark against Auburn, it's time that winning close games becomes the norm. Simply put, when you play defense as well as LSU does, virtually every game on the schedule has the opportunity to be close. They can't allow mistakes to define the game. Make these other teams win, don't hand them the game.
It starts with Florida tonight at 5:00 CT and more to come on that game later.