BATON ROUGE, La. -- When a Chick-fil-A Bowl representative was passing out coupons Saturday in the Tiger Stadium press box late in the third quarter of LSU's game against Ole Miss, an LSU beat writer told him, "If this score keeps up, I'll be seeing you in a month."
Oh, how things changed.
At the time, LSU was trailing. By the end of the day, not only had LSU secured a 41-35 win over the Rebels, but the craziness around the country -- the top two teams in the BCS standings, Oregon and Kansas State, both lost -- left the door cracked for the Tigers to not only avoid the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but maybe move into a BCS game.
Maybe even the BCS game.
Far-fetched? Absolutely. But you better believe LSU fans are paying attention. LSU's 2007 team is the only two-loss team to reach the BCS championship game. That was also the last season in which both No. 1 and No. 2 lost on the same day. So, it could happen again with a lot -- nay, a ton -- of luck.
Let's start with the least-likely part of the scenario. Lowly Auburn would have to upset No. 2 Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Not likely, but hey, it's a rivalry game, right?
That would give LSU, ranked No. 7 in the BCS, the SEC West championship, assuming a Tigers win Friday over Arkansas. The Tigers would then go to the SEC championship game.
Then things are suddenly in play. If LSU gets to Atlanta, the Tigers could hand No. 3 Georgia its second loss.
Outside of the SEC championship, let's say No. 15 Oregon State beats No. 5 Oregon. And let's say No. 10 Florida State beats No. 4 Florida, but turns around and loses in the ACC championship game. Then No. 16 Texas beats No. 6 Kansas State, leaving the top of the Big 12 a mess of two-loss teams.
And for the cherry on top, let's say No. 1 Notre Dame loses to a newly pedestrian -- and unranked -- USC team.
Add all those games up, and what do you get? None of the BCS automatic qualifier conferences, save the Big East, would have a champion with fewer than two losses.
And as the champion of the best of those conferences, wouldn't it seem like LSU would jump to the top of that pack? If Notre Dame loses, it's not hard to imagine a way in which the Tigers could jump all the way to No. 1 in that scenario, passing a one-loss Notre Dame team that would have just lost.
Yeah, the door is cracked. Alabama could do a lot to slam it shut by winning the Iron Bowl, but what if the Tide beats Auburn, but the rest of the scenario plays out?
Would it be possible for LSU to finish second, ahead of a one-loss Notre Dame team? That could mean a wait for it LSU-Alabama BCS title rematch.
Sure, it's unlikely. Most likely, we'll see Alabama and Georgia reach the SEC championship game with one loss each. They would be playing for the right to meet Notre Dame in the BCS national championship.
Where would LSU play in that scenario? If Alabama and Georgia meet for the SEC title, the winner of that game would be all but guaranteed a spot in the BCS Championship Game.
That sets the dominoes tumbling. The Sugar Bowl would likely pick another SEC team to replace the champion. An 11-1 Florida team might be a fit. If Florida loses to FSU, the pick would likely be out of LSU and Texas A&M. The loser would likely go to the Cotton Bowl.
And if LSU loses in Fayetteville?
Then forget all the scenarios read above. LSU would likely be headed for Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
So here we are. It's Thanksgiving week and we can say with a straight face that LSU could play in the Chick-fil-A bowl as the SEC's No. 6 team. We're also saying the Tigers, with a lot of help, could still find a way to the top of the BCS.
We're not saying it's going to happen ... but there's a chance.