LSU vs Arkansas: Chaotic Possibilities If the Razorbacks Win
Arkansas has won the battle of the boot quite a few times in recent years.
It has only been three weeks since LSU defeated Alabama 9-6 in "the Game of the Century." The popular opinion leading up to that game was that the winner would be in the driver's seat for the BCS National Championship Game, while the loser would still have a decent chance to avenge their loss with the stakes raised in the title game.
The rest of the games in the SEC after Nov. 5 were to be merely a formality as there was little chance that the winner of the Game of the Century would be defeated by any other SEC teams and lose their stranglehold on the No. 1 ranking.
That may all still prove to be true if Les Miles' club wins Friday night, but the Arkansas Razorbacks have some other, more chaotic plans.
Alabama Fans Will Be Upset If They Win the SEC West
Alabama will be hoping they don't jump into first place in the West
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
An Arkansas win over LSU would give Alabama a shot to win the SEC West if they defeat their arch rival, the Auburn Tigers, the following day. Typically that would be good news for Crimson Tide players and fans. But 2011 has been anything but typical, and the strange turn of events have created a scenario in which Alabama does not want to win the SEC West.
If LSU holds serve and beats Arkansas, then an Alabama win over Auburn would all but assure the that Tide would finish No. 2 in the final BCS poll. The Iron Bowl would be the Crimson Tide's final game of the season and the Alabama players will be free to do as they please during the SEC Championship on Dec. 3.
An Arkansas win coupled with an Alabama win would create a three-way tie in the SEC West. The tie-breaker first eliminates the team with the lowest ranking in the BCS standings. The winner of the head-to-head matchup between the two higher ranked teams will be crowned the SEC West champ. From Alabama's perspective, the winner of the head-to-head match-up would unfortunately be named SEC West champ.
If Alabama wins the tiebreaker, then they will have to play Georgia in the SEC Championship. A second loss on the season would knock Alabama out of the national championship picture. While the odds of an Alabama loss to Georgia in the SEC title game are low, they aren't as low as the zero percent chance Alabama will have of losing if they don't play on Dec. 3.
Arkansas Could Rematch LSU for the National Championship
Is this only part 1 of 2?
If Arkansas defeats LSU and Alabama defeats Auburn, then the Razorbacks will still have to hope that Alabama becomes the lowest ranked team of the three in order to win the SEC West. Alabama defeated Arkansas 38-14 earlier this season, and it would take a convincing victory by the Hogs over LSU to leap Alabama in the polls.
However, if Arkansas wins and Auburn upsets Alabama in the Iron Bowl, then the Hogs would win the SEC West and their path would clear to play in New Orleans for the BCS National Championship Game.
Most scenarios in which Arkansas plays for both the SEC Championship and national championship would probably result in a rematch for Arkansas versus LSU in New Orleans. This would signify that all those who predicted a rematch between two SEC West teams after the Game of the Century would be right. They just got one of the teams wrong.
Alabama Could Rematch Arkansas for the National Championship
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Les Miles was immediately asked by a sideline reporter after the Alabama versus LSU what his thoughts were on a possible rematch. He said, "I would be honored to play that team again." Alabama players and fans at that point were hoping that question was foreshadowing a possible rematch between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers for it all in New Orleans.
There is a possibly that if Arkansas defeats LSU on Friday that the Tigers will still win the SEC West. LSU had the toughest schedule in the country and they will more than likely remain No. 1 in the computers regardless of their performance on Friday. Many voters would have a hard time lifting the Hogs past the Crimson Tide regardless of the Hogs' performance Friday as well.
Either way, if the Georgia Bulldogs were able to pull the upset and give LSU its second loss, then the BCS National Championship Game would more than likely be a rematch of Arkansas versus Alabama.
In that scenario, the national championship would feature two teams that didn't even win their division.
There Could Be Hope for Non-SEC Teams
Oklahoma St may have forgot they had to play Iowa St before OU
These are the dark days of college football for SEC haters. With teams from the SEC West occupying the top three spots in the BCS polls, the chances are slim for the BCS National Championship Game to feature a non-SEC team.
While an upset of 22-point underdog Auburn over Alabama coupled with an LSU win over Arkansas would clear the path for Oklahoma State, an Arkansas win could give hope to Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech or Stanford fans as well.
If an undefeated LSU team lost to Georgia in the SEC Championship, the odds would still be in the Tigers' favor of playing in New Orleans for the third time for the BCS National Championship. A second LSU loss would probably drop them below the three aforementioned, non-SEC teams.
The Chaos Created Could Move College Football One Step Closer to a Playoff
what could have been in 2008
An Arkansas win over LSU could lead to chaos, controversy and possible injustice.
If Georgia defeats any of the three teams currently atop the SEC West in the SEC Championship, then they will be the undisputed SEC champion. It will be bittersweet though, because they will still have to watch another SEC team or teams play on Jan. 9 for the BCS National Championship. That championship game could include two SEC teams that didn't win the conference championship or possibly even two teams that didn't play in the conference championship.
While it is true that Georgia didn't defeat any of the big three from the SEC West in the regular season, they didn't lose to any of them either. They are being punished because of conference scheduling that is completely out of their control.
A 16-team playoff could feature conference champions of the five major conferences (sorry Big East) and 11 at-large bids. That way all three of the SEC's top teams would get a shot to win it on the field and non-SEC fans would have reasons to watch postseason football that is meaningful.
Maybe someday there will be December Delirium when everyone fills out their college football play-off brackets. In the meantime, Go Hogs, Bulldogs and long live college football chaos.