Why Arkansas' Entire Season Is on the Line vs. Alabama

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterSeptember 13, 2012

Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton
Arkansas WR Cobi HamiltonNelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

After Saturday night's 34-31 overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe in Little Rock, it appeared that Arkansas' season was over shortly after it started.

The hopes for the crystal football may be shattered, but that doesn't mean the entire Razorback season is in shambles.

The Hogs still have most of their goals in front of them, according to head coach John L. Smith.

"We are still undefeated in the league. We still have the same goals in front of us to win an SEC Championship," said Smith during his Monday press conference. "We just have to bounce back and get it done. We have to prepare well and play well. That’s where we will start.”

Is that lip service? Yes.

It's also accurate.

Arkansas' defense is not as improved as initially thought, which, coupled with quarterback Tyler Wilson's injury, has knocked the Hogs out of national title contention.

But they're still dangerous, especially if Wilson is 100 percent.

They're desperate, but they also still have plenty to play for, which makes them a very dangerous football team.

The offensive play-calling after Wilson left the game against ULM was curious, to say the least. But offensive coordinator Paul Petrino has a full week to figure out ways to get the ball to running back Knile Davis, wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, tight end Chris Gragg and the rest of the Razorback offensive weapons.

After watching Arkansas' defense versus the Warhawks, it certainly seems like a long shot that they even compete with the Crimson Tide, much less win.

But the Hogs are saying the right things.

It's unlikely that Alabama will lose two SEC games in 2012, so if Arkansas drops one game behind the Crimson Tide and gives up the tiebreaker, its season will be over after only one SEC game.

Considering the questions at quarterback and defense, that seems more like a probability than possibility at this point. 

That sound you hear is Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long putting together a very long short list of potential head coaching candidates.