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What Kind of Day Has It Been?

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LSU at the bye week

Punk Rock Trey
Punk Rock Trey
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

This has been a rather busy week for me, unrelated to blog life. So the bye week came at a good time, but I do apologize to y'all for not getting you any content this week. I meant to write some things, particularly a new ATVSQBPI column, but that will just have to wait. Life sometimes gets in the way of LSU football.

So, without anything planned to write, I'm just gonna ramble for a few minutes. Please bear with me, as I don't really have much of a plan here. It's a lot like a Les Miles two minute drill. Don't worry about the process, because it will likely turn out fine.

Has this season been fun or what?

I mean that sincerely. This has been a terrific year to be a fan of LSU football, as the team has taken us on an emotional roller coaster from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. Three weeks ago, many were wondering aloud how LSU was going to get to bowl eligibility, and now, the SEC title is at least on the table (though winning the West is just as likely as LSU going 6-6 was).

Every season it seems, Les Miles gives all of us the lesson that stuff is supposed to be fun. And then we go into the long dark offseason and forget, only to be taught the lesson anew. We spend so much time worrying about the "future" and all of the possibilities of the things which might happen, that we lose sight of a pretty damn cool present. The future is an inevitability. It's going to come whether we like it or not. Let's spend a little bit more time living in the now.

There is no habit of fans that drives me more insane than worrying about losses that have not yet occurred. You know what? We might lose those games. But spending time mourning an event that has not yet occurred is just depriving yourself of happiness. Belief is risky, because that can lead to disappointment, but it's also a hell of a lot more fun. Protecting yourself from heartbreak by wrapping yourself in a blanket of negativity doesn't even work. You're no less heartbroken if the team loses, only you've heaped extra suffering on top of the loss in advance.

There's no way around it. The Mississippi State and Auburn losses were terrible. Well, the State loss is a lot less terrible in retrospect, as it has transformed from LSU's first loss at home to an unranked team in what has seemed like an eternity to a near-comeback against the #1 team in the nation. Auburn doesn't even have that kind of post hoc rationalization. It was one of the worst blowouts LSU has experienced in the Miles era.

The defense looked lost. The linebackers looked like one of the worst units in the nation. We were mired in yet another quarterback controversy, as the most recent savior failed spectacularly in his first start. The scheduled looked daunting and the fanbase looked as if they had given up.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to disaster. LSU won a tough game in the Swamp. They blew out a Kentucky team that was getting a lot of positive press. And then LSU beat the #3 team in the nation in a reborn Tiger Stadium. The fans didn't just stay for the whole game, they were loud as hell and lived up the reputation that we've been coasting on. The crowd helped rattled Ole Miss, and they took their celebration to the field in the aftermath.

At long last, joy. Fans stopped caring about what this win means in the grand scheme of things and how this will affect our ranking or possibility of going to what bowl or win what title. LSU beat Ole Miss, a hated rival, and we were reacted with unadulterated glee. Trey Quinn literally rode the wave of joy. It was beautiful. It was fun. It was everything college football should be.

Really, the season can still go in any direction, and there's a wonderful joy in not knowing. If Vegas is right, LSU will finish up the season 2-1. LSU would go to a bowl game with a realistic shot at yet another 10 win season. None of the games are sure things either way, so the whole range of human emotion is still on the table. LSU could go anywhere from 0-3 to 3-0 in these final three games, and it wouldn't be that big of a surprise either way. But the schedule will get much easier stretch, if playing Arkansas and A&M is that easy. But there are five teams in the West who can still win the division, and look at their respective records against one another:

Mississippi State

2-0

Auburn

1-1

Ole Miss

1-1

LSU

1-2

Alabama

0-1

What's one thing that stands out? LSU has a losing record to be sure, but they have also played three of their four games against the top of the division. Auburn and Alabama, combined, have played the same number of games against the top five teams. LSU will be finished playing the top tier of the division after its next game, and it is against the one team that's winless against the top five. A win against Bama, and LSU would only have to beat the two worst teams* in the division to reach 6-2.

*Worst is relative term. Let's be honest, both Arkansas and A&M are pretty good.

Now 6-2 might not win the division, particularly with the way Mississippi St. is playing. But if the Bulldogs falter, 6-2 isn't just possible, it is the likely record of the West division champ. Now, LSU would still need to win tiebreakers, and there's no way LSU wins a tiebreaker against State or Auburn, so it's still extremely unlikely LSU can make it to Atlanta even if the Tigers make it to 6-2. But isn't it wonderful we can at least seriously consider the idea? Isn't it nice that I actually had to look up the tiebreaker procedure, just in case?*

*In case you're wondering, LSU needs either Auburn or State to fall to 5-3. Seeing as it's nearly impossible for State to do so, that means LSU really needs Auburn to lose at least two of their three games against Bama, Ole Miss, and Georgia. It doesn't matter who Ole Miss loses to, so long as it isn't Mississippi St. But a four-way tie without Auburn would mean LSU is 2-1 and MSU is 1-2 in the first tiebreaker of head to head. That would eliminate State and you start the tiebreaker over, at which point LSU would win over Ole Miss and Bama. A three-way tie with MSU, LSU, and either OM or Bama gets dicier, and there's too many permutations to tell who would win. But the two things LSU absolutely needs are 1) to win out and 2) Auburn and State to each lose at least twice. Root for LSU and against Auburn. Tough job, I know.

But this team doesn't need to make it to 6-2 to be a success. They just need to keep bringing the joy, and reminding us that every weekend of football is beautiful. Sometimes we forget, but luckily, Les Miles always reminds us. This game is so much fun.

How great has this season been?