Sugar Bowl: Ohio State Heading To New Orleans To Face Off Against Arkansas

Jim PeteContributor IDecember 6, 2010

The Buckeyes March to New Orleans
The Buckeyes March to New OrleansChris Graythen/Getty Images

THE Ohio State Buckeyes will be heading to the Big Easy on January 4, 2011 to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Sugar Bowl.  There wasn't much anticipation with regards to the selection, since the pundits have been speculating this matchup for the past three weeks.  The Buckeyes will enter the matchup a month from now as the No. 6 team in the country, while Arkansas is currently ranked No. 8.  It should be a good matchup.

The Buckeyes will be playing in their record sixth straight BCS Bowl game, their seventh BCS in the past eight years, and their record ninth BCS game overall.  The Buckeyes are 5-3 overall in their appearances.  This will be the Razorbacks first appearance in the BCS.

The Buckeyes are no stranger to the Sugar Bowl.  This will be their fifth appearance in the "Sugar Bowl," although one of those games was the BCS Championship, which isn't the Sugar Bowl, just played in the same venue. 

Overall, the Buckeyes are 1-2 in the game.  Their first appearance was in 1978, when Paul "Bear" Bryant's Alabama Crimson Tide rolled over the Buckeyes 35-6 in a matchup of two of the greatest coaches of all-time.  Twenty years later, John Cooper would get beat up in a match up against Florida St., 31-14. 

The following year, Ohio State would return, and Cooper and the Buckeyes would defeat Texas A&M, 24-14.  The BCS appearance was in 2008, when the Buckeyes were rolled by the LSU Tigers.

Arkansas will be making their sixth appearance, and are a combined 1-4 overall in the Sugar Bowl.

There are many, many interesting stories within the story of this game, including Arkansas' starting quarterback, Ryan Mallett.  Mallett, if you remember, was a former player at TSUN, and started several games as a Freshman thanks to an injury to starter Chad Henne.  Mallett left the school after good ol' RichRod was hired as coach, because the spread offense doesn't fit his skill set. 

Mallett has been sensational over the past two seasons at Arkansas, and I'm sure there has to be a bit of a chip on his shoulder.  He DID play against the Buckeyes in 2007, but only a handful of snaps.  This is his chance to go after the team that used to be his top rival.

With that said, let's just say there should be several storylines to keep us busy over the next month.  This game is an interesting one, to say the least.  Now, we just have to wait a month...oy...

Why isn't there a playoff again?