LSU vs. Arkansas: Struggles Against Hogs Prove Tigers Aren't BCS Worthy

Marcelo Villa@@_marcelovillaCorrespondent IINovember 23, 2012

Nov 23, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson (8) slides as LSU Tigers linebacker Kevin Minter (46) defends at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

Friday's 20-13 win over Arkansas proved to be no easy task for LSU as the Tigers found themselves struggling to hold off a late charge by the Hogs. It wasn't the type of performance a BCS-caliber team in the SEC is supposed to have against a 4-7 Arkansas team.

In fact, it isn't a performance deserving of a spot in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, which is where some analysts have the Tigers.

The Tigers allowed senior QB Tyler Wilson to throw for 359 yards and a TD in the loss. Wilson had his team driving in the fourth quarter down by four, but LSU stopped the Hogs from finishing the comeback with a defensive stop and a field goal of their own.

The close call in Fayetteville also proved that the Tigers weren't worthy of a BCS bowl berth ahead of their SEC rivals.

Assuming that Alabama has no trouble putting away Auburn tomorrow, I think it's safe to say that the Crimson Tide will find a home in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, leaving four legitimate contenders for a spot in the Sugar Bowl—Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M and LSU.

While the case for LSU is strong at 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the SEC, I believe Georgia, Florida and even Texas A&M are more deserving of a Sugar Bowl berth.

Starting with Florida, the Gators have managed to win all but one game against SEC opponents, including LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M. The last roadblock of the season is a Nov. 24 matchup with 10th-ranked Florida State.

Just the fact that Florida already beat LSU 14-6 earlier in the season is enough to pencil in the Gators over the Tigers, but a final victory against the Seminoles would be the deal-breaker.

Next in line would be the Georgia Bulldogs at 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the SEC. The Bulldogs are already in the discussion for a spot in the BCS championship game, but if they miss out on a national title, a Sugar Bowl would be the next best thing.

Georgia's schedule wasn't particularly difficult in terms of top-ranked opponents but the Bulldogs still made a lasting impression in the SEC with large-margin victories. The only blemish on Georgia's schedule was a 35-7 loss to then-ranked No. 6 South Carolina.

Still, the Bulldogs won the games they were supposed to with ease, and with a win over Georgia Tech on Nov. 24, I would find it hard to believe they don't get the edge over LSU, assuming they're not in the BCS championship game.

The final contender for a Sugar Bowl berth is Texas A&M. It may be hard to envision the Aggies as favorites over the Tigers because of their losses to LSU and Florida, but Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has his team rolling in the final weeks of the season. 

Back-to-back wins over Mississippi State and then-ranked No. 1 Alabama were pretty impressive accomplishments for Kevin Sumlin's squad, and the Aggies have held decisive victories against the majority of their opponents this season.

It makes you wonder if LSU would even be able to hang with a team like Texas A&M after such a sub-par performance against Arkansas on Friday.

The main thing to keep in mind here is that Georgia, Florida and Texas A&M must win their final games to strengthen their resumes for a Sugar Bowl berth.

These final games in the SEC should further prove that LSU is trailing behind its rivals in the BCS.