Even if you never heard of the LSU Tigers or the Arkansas Razorbacks, if you looked at USA Today’s latest list of College Football Coach salaries, you’d know right away the upcoming game between the two is a huge deal. LSU’s coach clocked in over 3.7 million in school pay with Arkansas’s mercurial leader Bobby Petrino coming in at just over 3.6 million.
Both schools have a lot on the line this weekend with LSU aiming to remain undefeated and both teams wanting a division title, conference title and a crack at the national title. The stakes for this game are pretty high, and if each teams’ performance thus far this season is any indicator it should be a battle to the end.
For those who don’t regularly watch college football you may not understand why this is a big game and why you should at least care a little teeny bit. Maybe I can help.
LSU is undefeated this season. Arkansas has lost one game. Alabama has lost one game…to LSU. All three teams are in the SEC West. All three teams are in the top 3 of the BCS rankings-LSU (1) Alabama (2) and Arkansas (3). Yes, all 3 teams. If Alabama and LSU play for the national title Alabama can get revenge on LSU for snatching their undefeated season from them in OT. If Arkansas beats LSU (which could happen) and Alabama beats Auburn (which is likely), it sets up an uncomfortable 3 way tie for the SEC West division title (ew!). It also would put Arkansas in a difficult but not untenable situation when it comes to a chance at playing for the national title. But before the national title sit-choo-way-shon is settled, one of these teams must come out of the SEC West to play in the SEC Championship Game against SEC East’s Georgia. See how neatly the SEC East has already been wrapped up? How you not get into this SEC West drama. ow!
If you hate the SEC, like many (most???) hot-blooded college-football watching Americans (I kid! Or…do I?), then forget about everything I just wrote and know that I think this is going to be one of the few big games that will live up to the hype.
AR’s QB Tyler Wilson averages 292.3 yards passing per game and LSU’s defense has wracked up 27 sacks and 15 interceptions–6 of those by two of their corners. LSU’s secondary is no slouch and neither is it’s pass rush. I’m itching to see what Petrino cooks up on offense. On the flipside, LSU has done very well rushing with three running backs sharing carries. Spencer Ware has 160 carries for 650 yards–an average of 4.1 yards per carry. I don’t see LSU struggling for first downs if Ware can get back to form along with the other two leading rushers for the team all of which are returning from a one-game suspension. OOPS.
NFL Trivia: Which NFL team has both one Arkansas Razorback and one LSU Tiger that both played at the schools last year? hmm there may be more than one. But I’m thinking of the New England Patriots and QB Ryan Mallett and RB Stevan Ridley. Wonder if they will catch the game together.