Alabama Crimson Tide football

LSU Triumphs in Game of the Century: Part II

Alabama’s loss (8-1) leaves LSU (9-0) as the Southeastern Conference’s last remaining undefeated team and most likely representative in the College Football Playoff Semifinal.

The Tigers need to win just one of their two remaining games against Mississippi and Arkansas to clinch the conference’s Western Division and appear in the SEC championship.

Saturday’s loss won’t disqualify Alabama from appearing alongside the Tigers in the semifinal, when there could be a rematch in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.

The win was catharsis for the Tigers, who last beat Alabama in 2011 when the teams met as the top two ranked programs in the country in what many called the “Game of the Century.” That 9-6 LSU victory was a defensive battle for the ages, while Saturday was a rare offensive showdown in the defense-worshipping SEC.

College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said Tagovailoa’s health may factor into the selection committee’s interpretation of Saturday’s loss.

Hancock is unsure of whether committee members will give Alabama the benefit of the doubt, though there is precedent: Oregon lost to Arizona with several top offensive linemen out in 2014 and still made the playoff.

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