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Arkansas vs. LSU: Analyzing Game's Importance for Each Team

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 09:  Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers reacts against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Mike MoraitisAnalyst INovember 28, 2013

Because it doesn't have any major implications on the BCS title picture, the matchup between the Arkansas Razorbacks and LSU Tigers may seem insignificant, but that isn't the case at all.

Each of these teams has something on the line, and that common thread starts at pride.

Both teams would like to finish the regular season on a high note and for one team, LSU, the result is expected to be a positive one, while for Arkansas, the opposite can be said.

But the underdog status for the Razorbacks makes them a dangerous team with nothing to lose, while the Tigers will lose major respect points should they go out with a loss to a horrible 3-8 team.

Let's break down what a win or loss for either team would mean to their respective futures and their season as a whole.

 

LSU's Postgame Outlook

After starting the season 4-0, the Tigers have dropped three of their last seven games and are now fully out of the BCS National Championship Game picture, as well as the SEC Championship.

So, all that's left for LSU to play for is pride, and that same pride is certainly on the line against a lowly squad like Arkansas.

If head coach Les Miles' squad emerges victorious over their fellow SEC West foe, it certainly wouldn't qualify as a shock in the least bit. The win wouldn't earn the Tigers any respect points, and only with some help from losses by teams around it would LSU then move up in the rankings.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 09: Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers looks on alongside Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Tuscaloosa,
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

A loss would have a significantly different and greater impact, however.

The Tigers would be embarrassed to lose to the Razorbacks, and it would be the bitter icing on the cake for what has been a disappointing season in 2013-14.

Future recruits would wonder just how quality of a team they would be joining after a four-loss season culminated in a letdown game against the worst team in the SEC.

Furthermore, LSU wouldn't deserve to be ranked in the Top 25, and it isn't out of the question that the Tigers would finish the season unranked after coughing up this one.

Clearly the Tigers have far more to lose than to gain from this contest, and that's why it's vital they win on Friday against the Razorbacks.

 

Arkansas' Postgame Outlook

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS - NOVEMBER 23:  Head Coach Bret Bielema of the Arkansas Razorbacks points to a official during a game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at War Memorial Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The Bulldogs defeate
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

It has been a dreadful season for the Razorbacks as they have enjoyed just three wins and are in danger of regressing from the 2012-13 season with a 3-8 mark that is below the 4-8 record they finished with last season.

The only hope for Arkansas in this game is to draw from the season finale from a year ago in which the Razorbacks played the Tigers tough, only to lose the contest by a single touchdown.

There is no such thing as a moral victory at this point for Arkansas and instead, the Razorbacks must come out with a win in order to feel good about themselves at season's end.

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - OCTOBER 12:  Brandon Allen #10 hands off the ball to Alex Collins #3 of the Arkansas Razorbacks during a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Razorback Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  (Photo by Wesley Hit
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

This is Arkansas' national title game for the 2013-14 season, and instead of their reward being a crystal football, the Razorbacks will be more than happy to accept watching the Tigers walk off the field with their heads down while finishing the season outside of the Top 25.

 

It could also be used as a recruiting tool for future prospects who may be insecure about joining such a lackluster program. Arkansas can say, "hey, we're not doing great right now, but we're on the road to recovery and if you don't believe us, just look at how we ended our season."

Heck, it may not be much, but it beats finishing out the campaign on a nine-game losing streak, right?

A loss would only serve to bury this program further. Just when the Razorbacks and their fans thought it couldn't get any worse, it will with a more horrid season than last. It's safe to say the seat would start to heat up under head coach Bret Bielema, also.

It's time for Arkansas to give their fans something to cheer for, and that will only happen with a win on Friday.

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