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20 Nov

Rebels Down, Will Hogs Be Spoilers?

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Three of the past four years, including the last national championship year in 2007, LSU has lost to Arkansas. They’ve found all sorts of ways to lose… a triple overtime upset when LSU was last ranked #1 in 2007, a one-point defeat in 2008, and by allowing a last-second score at the end of the first half in 2010 which changed their end-game options. This year the Hogs visit Baton Rouge with the SEC’s top rated offense as well as very effective special teams play. LSU maintains their position near the top of the league as far as defense goes after shutting down Ole Miss 52-3. Who will come to play? If LSU wins out, they go to the championship and complete their first ever undefeated run through the SEC. If Arkansas wins, it adds a whole lot more chaos to what we’ve already seen in the last three days.

Specifically, we have seen Iowa State (27 point underdog) take down previously undefeated Oklahoma State in double overtime. That dropped the Cowboys from the ranks of unbeaten teams and certainly had to give extra incentive to the other top-tier one-loss teams. Then again, you would not have known it as Oregon (15 point favorite) lost to USC and Oklahoma (another 15 point favorite) lost to the Baylor Bears on a last-second touchdown pass. Alabama got by Georgia Southern but allowed 21 points. Arkansas whipped Mississippi State, which could conceivably end up with three SEC West teams being ranked 1-2-3 in the BCS after the big reveal tomorrow night.

Fortunately LSU managed to avoid the so-called “trap” game and take care of business rather handily in Oxford. In fact things went so well that Les Miles had the Tigers run four straight knee-down plays from the one yard line… with five minutes still to go in the game.

Houston remains unbeaten but is hardly a blip on the radar given their relatively weak schedule. Too many folks are thinking of what Hawaii did a few years back (or didn’t do, as the case may be) when they got a BCS bid to attend the Sugar Bowl. (They lost to Georgia 41-10.)

Here’s the worst case scenario: Arkansas beats LSU next Friday, and Alabama wins at Auburn. At this point we have 3 top SEC teams all with one loss, and only one can go to the SEC title game. (Silly rules say we have to allow a team from the Eastern division to play, and Georgia has locked that up.) The final tie breaker involves looking at head to head record if the two top-ranked BCS teams are within 5 spots of each other, so it would all depend on how far LSU falls if they end up losing to Arkansas. Alabama only fell one spot (#2 to #3) but that was primarily because the game was so close. If it’s a blow-out (and with the offensive firepower that Arkansas has you never know) then LSU would almost certainly drop further. And with Alabama already projected to be sitting at #2, then ‘Bama would go to the title game. Then what? Who knows. 🙂

From a ‘Bama perspective this coming week shapes up really nicely. They will already know the outcome of the LSU / Arkansas game (which is played on Friday) before they take on Auburn in the annual Iron Bowl. If Arkansas wins, you can be sure that the Tide will attempt to pour it on at Auburn to impress the voters. Remember that ‘Bama stomped Arkansas 38-14 back in September before losing to LSU 6-9 a few weeks ago. I know the transitive property doesn’t apply in college football, but that doesn’t mean people don’t still try to apply it…

As a Tiger fan, I hope that LSU can take care of Arkansas next Friday and move on. As a fan of college football who really wishes we had a playoff system, wouldn’t it be awesome if we ended up with this scenario? Suppose LSU loses to Arkansas, leaving Alabama to head to the SEC title game. Suppose ‘Bama loses a close game to Georgia, leaving the Bulldogs as the SEC champion and the associated Sugar Bowl berth. That leaves LSU and Arkansas with only 1 loss (‘Bama has two in this scenario, having lost to Georgia) and end up playing for the BCS championship in a rematch, which LSU wins. The rest of the country howls because their teams got shut out of the title game, and we had two teams playing that didn’t even win their own conference. 😯 Nothing screams playoffs more than this mess.

It will be very interesting to see the BCS rankings come out tomorrow, as the voters start to adjust their votes based on who they think they want to see in the title game, rather than who necessarily deserves to be there.

And ultimately I hope LSU beats Arkansas and takes it all as an undefeated / undisputed champion. 😎

One Response to “Rebels Down, Will Hogs Be Spoilers?”

  1. 1
    Dave Rathbun Says:

    LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas do in fact appear 1-2-3 in the BCS poll. Apparently this has happened one time before, with Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Colorado being the top 3 from the Big 12. This is only the second time it has ever happened, and the first time that all 3 teams are from the same division of a conference.

    In other news, LSU is currently installed as a 13.5 point favorite over Arkansas.

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