With all of the media focusing on LSU and Alabama, the Arkansas Razorbacks are flying under the radar. However, it will be Bobby Petrino’s team that will have more impact on the SEC championship game than any other team.
The Razorbacks have been anything but impactful over the last two weeks. This is why many have failed to realize that the Razorbacks' fingerprint will be all over the SEC championship game. Three teams (LSU, Alabama and South Carolina) control their own destiny.
But two of those three have the Razorbacks on their remaining schedule, and those games could shift the landscape dramatically.
The leader for the SEC West title and the national championship game will be decided this week, as No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama square off in the game of the year. However, the leader for the SEC East title will also become clearer this week when the Razorbacks host the Gamecocks from South Carolina.
The Gamecocks are currently tied with the Georgia Bulldogs at 5-1 in conference play. South Carolina owns the tie breaker, but if they are defeated by Arkansas, Georgia will have the inside track to Atlanta.
If Arkansas can put away the Gamecocks, who are without Marcus Lattimore for the rest of the season, they will be the reason that the Bulldogs win the East.
In regards to the West, the Razorbacks currently sit third in their division with a conference record of 3-1. However, if Alabama is defeated by LSU next weekend, Arkansas could ultimately decide the West as well.
That would leave the Tide and the Razorbacks tied for second with season finale against LSU remaining. If Arkansas wins that game, they are likely to win the SEC West because their loss was early in the season.
Who will represent the SEC West in the championship game?
In a three-way tie, assuming that all three teams win their remaining games, the West will be represented by the team with the highest BCS ranking.
If Alabama wins this week, the LSU-Arkansas game will still have major implications for the SEC. The winner will likely represent the SEC in the Sugar Bowl, with Alabama playing in the National Championship game.
The only exception would be if the Eastern team was able to upset the Western team in the championship game.
It appears that LSU and Alabama will continue to grab all the headlines, but Arkansas is still a major player in the overall picture.