Edit — December 5, 2010 — We saw this coming by November 5, 2010, Suck It Up. Root for Auburn and Hogs’ BCS Chances! and realized what the Mississippi State game in Starkville meant. Arkansas’ Most Important Game In Four Years! At best, those outside of Arkansas listened thought we employed hyperbole. (For the record, we think that might be a tad hyperbolic, but agree that it’s a deceptively big game.) — MrSEC.com The only blip upon the way occurred when Auburn spotted Alabama 24 points before coming back to win. We might be ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS FANS but don’t confuse that with being wrong!
Post LSU Game Notes: LSU’s BCS rating decrease was .2126. Arkansas’ BCS rating increase was 0.1492. Arkansas’ increase in relation to LSU was .3618. The average net gain for a Top 25 team with a win over a Top 10 team was .3599.
As LSU tailgaters travel up Hwy. 65 on Arkansas soil, they will find the cotton picked, and when people from all over reach Little Rock for the last regular-season Arkansas game, no good tailgating breakfast will have any citrus drink concoction or chicken and gator tail on to fry, and country music will not be heard anywhere. Maybe that is a little extreme, but the center pieces of every table should be a Bowl of Sugar.
Arkansas’ hopes for the Sugar Bowl continue to rest on Auburn playing in the BCS National Championship Game. In order to do that, Auburn will need to beat Alabama this week and then South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game. If Hog fans cannot pull for Auburn, then pull for Gus Malzahn to find a way to free Cam Newton or for Nick Saban’s team to repeat with three losses as his LSU team did the year after winning the BCS Championship.
The BCS rules permit Sugar Bowl officials to pick the Sugar Bowl teams within certain parameters if the Bowl’s tie-in representative reaches the BCS Championship Game. Unfortunately, there are no specific rules guiding the Sugar Bowl’s decision so the Razorbacks have to meet all contingencies.
One contingency is to have the second best record in the SEC. If Arkansas wins and Auburn wins this week, Arkansas and LSU will both have identical 6-2 conference records with two losses to SEC West opponents. One thing to note is that Alabama would now have three conference losses.
An Arkansas win would establish the moral ground of head-to-head competition between two conference opponents with identical records.
The one contingency which has not been clear is whether Arkansas can overcome LSU’s BCS rating. The Hogs have made huge progress over the last two weeks and have closed the gap with LSU from .3601 points two weeks ago to .2496 points in the BCS Poll last night for Week 13. With LSU’s current rank of No. 5 in the BCS with a rating of .8193 and Arkansas’s of No. 12 with a BCS rating of .5697, the net difference of .2496 points is not only coverable, more than 0.2496 points have been the net gain between a losing Top 10 BCS team and its ranked opponent in the following BCS Poll every time this year.
Top 10 BCS teams have lost seven times this year to BCS Top 25 opponents. When Texas A&M beat then No. 8 Oklahoma, the Aggies did not have a BCS ranking. The BCS Top 10 loser has lost an average of .2427 points while its opponent has gained an average of .1328 points. The least net gain for a BCS Top 25 winner against a BCS Top 10 team was Auburn’s win over LSU which netted Auburn .2756 points. The most gain has been for Missouri over Oklahoma which netted the Tigers .5039 points compared to Oklahoma. The middle number (mean) of the net rating increases is .3599. (Three teams did better and three teams did not do as well as .3599 with a victory over a BCS Top 10 opponent.) The chart below references the games, each team’s previous and new BCS rank, the increase or decrease in BCS rating points, and lastly the net increase for the team beating a BCS Top 10 opponent.
|BCS POLL||PVS||NEW||RK.(+)||RATING (+)||Winner||Loser||PVS||NEW||RK. (-)||RATING (-)||Net Rat. (+)|
Click on carets to sort.
Should Arkansas beat LSU and Alabama beat Auburn, Auburn still plays South Carolina for the SEC Championship with the winner going to the Sugar Bowl. Because Alabama is currently .0322 points higher in the BCS ratings and would be beating a higher ranked BCS opponent, the opportunity for Arkansas to hurdle Alabama for an at-large bid in another BCS Bowl is not going to happen without the most odd set of occurrences.
A Hog victory over LSU may be the sweetest ever!