Arkansas in a BCS Bowl?

11/9/2010 10:09 AM

Little Rock -

The Arkansas Razorback football team is in great position to take a big step forward with it's program.  If the Razorbacks win it's remaining 3 football games, they will play in a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Bowl game for the first time in school history. 

Arkansas takes on UTEP this Saturday in Fayetteville.  After the Hogs take care of business Saturday they can then turn their attention back into the SEC.

Arkansas and Mississippi State will meet in Starkville at 6pm on November 20th.  In 1998 Mississippi State beat a once beaten Arkansas team in Starkville, and won the right to play for the SEC Championship in Atlanta.  Arkansas had 2 losses and wound up playing Michigan in the Citrus (now Capital One) Bowl.  The Razorbacks have only lost to Mississippi State in Starkville 4 times since they entered the SEC in 1992.  Arkansas is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings againts the Dogs (31-28 loss in Petrino's first year).

If the Hogs win their next two games, then comes the big one against LSU in Little Rock, War Memorial Stadium, The Battle for "The Boot", Miracle on Markham Part III?  LSU and Arkansas have a history of close games.  

In 2002 Arkansas needed a late rally from Quarterback Matt Jones.  Jones was not having his best day throwing the football but he was able to connect when he needed to.  Backed up deep in their own territory, Jones connected with Richard Smith to give the team a chance to win.  Then with a heave toward the back right corner of the south endzone Jones found DeCori Birmingham for a TD that tied the game at 20 and was named Miracle on Markham.  After a 15 yard penalty for excessive celebration, Arkansas kicked the extra point and won 21-20 and had their shot at their first BCS bowl game if they could win the SEC Championship game the next week against Georgia.  Georgia won 30-3.

In Bobby Petrino's first year at Arkansas, the Razorbacks had won 4 games heading into the annual day after Thanksgiving meeting with the Tigers.  The year before the Hogs beat LSU in Death Valley when they were ranked number 1 in a game that took 3 overtimes to win.  A year later the Hogs beat the Tigers on a late pass to London Crawford on 4th down.  It was dubbed Miracle on Markham II.   

What does this year hold?  Arkansas will not make the SEC Championship game if they win this game.  But the stakes could be higher.  I think that if Arkansas wins out they will have a high enough seeding in the BCS that will get them into a BCS game. 

Lets look at the possibilities:

1. Auburn wins out or has 1 loss and wins the SEC Championship game on December 4, puts Auburn in the BCS National Championship game and at worse in the Sugar Bowl.

2. Arkansas wins out, has wins over Mississippi State and LSU, they will be high enough in the BCS rankings to receive an at-large birth into a BCS Bowl game.

The BCS has one goal and that is to get the 1st ranked team to play the 2nd ranked team in the National Championship game.  If Auburn plays in the NCG, then the Sugar Bowl will be able to select an at-large team to fill it's spot.  That could be Arkansas or it could be someone else.  Oregon will play in the NCG if it wins out and the Rose Bowl will have a pick as well.  Arkansas could go to the Rose Bowl and play the Big Ten Champion if Auburn has one loss and wins the SEC Championship game.

There are several possibilities, if the Raozrbacks do not take care of business on the field none of this will matter.  The Hogs need to cheer for Auburn and win out and everything will fall into place. 

The Razorbacks will be in a BCS Game if they finish the regular season 10-2.

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