For the first time in over a decade, intrigue is lacking in a showdown between LSU and Arkansas.
Usually when the Tigers and the Hogs meet up on the Friday following Thanksgiving, one or both teams are playing for a chance to go to the SEC Championship Game. Well, not this year.
Sure, LSU can get in if the Tigers win and Alabama loses to Auburn, but come on, there's a better chance Kobe Bryant breaks the assists record in the NBA before Auburn beats Alabama.
So go ahead and dismiss any thoughts of this being an open door for LSU to play for another SEC championship. But hey, there's more reasons to get excited for this game, right? Eh, maybe not.
Arkansas not having a successful season really puts a damper on this game, and for that very reason, LSU fans, for the most part, wish the Hogs were having a better year.
The biggest reason LSU fans feel that way revolves around the entertainment factor.
LSU fans don't want to tune into a game that's going to draw very little interest with hardly anything on the line. Arkansas comes into this game with absolutely nothing to lose. Tyler Wilson is going to the NFL next year, John L. Smith is as good as gone and the Hogs are getting a pass for a 4-7 season because they lost Bobby Petrino.
With LSU coming into this game with an 9-2 record, the Tigers have everything to lose with pride, but very little to gain in victory.
If LSU beats a 4-7 team, the nation will not be impressed at all. It's what LSU is supposed to do, and that adds a lot of pressure on a team to go out and dominate. And this is the same team that had close games with both Ole Miss and Auburn this year. Yikes.
This easily serves as a trap game, and no LSU fan, or college football fan in general, likes a trap game.
If Arkansas was a ranked team, LSU could march into Little Rock, beat the Razorbacks and go ahead and book their trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.
A victory over a 4-7 Arkansas team can still make that happen, should Alabama beat Georgia and go to the national championship game, but beating a ranked team like Arkansas would have sent the Tigers there without hesitation. Now, in victory, LSU will have to beat out Texas A&M, Georgia and Florida.
And though this is a huge long shot, if Arkansas would have been ranked entering this matchup, LSU could have lobbied for a chance to play for the national championship. Hear this one out.
Should Alabama beat Georgia, USC defeat Notre Dame, Texas upset Kansas State, Florida lose to Florida State and Oregon drop one against Oregon State or UCLA, LSU is next in line.
Obviously, that's a long shot, but in this world of college football, anything can happen.
Last Regular Season Game
The last game of the season should go out with a bang, and that's not going to happen with LSU and Arkansas.
LSU should blow out the Hogs with their stifling defense, vicious running attack and ever-improving passing game.
And should Arkansas make a game out of it, that will end the year with a bitter taste in the mouth of LSU fans. A road win in the SEC is no sure thing, but LSU is coming off of a close game to Ole Miss, so the Tigers need to look impressive against an inferior Arkansas club.
It's almost like a lose-lose situation. If LSU blows Arkansas out, Tiger fans will be without drama in the conclusion of the regular season. And if Arkansas keeps it close, LSU fans will start to get annoyed and eventually start turning on Les Miles. Hey, it's the culture 'round here.
Like it or not, this will likely happen, and it all could've been avoided if Arkansas was having a better season.