Bryce Young, Alabama Eliminated from SEC West Title Race After LSU Defeats Arkansas

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 12, 2022

LSU linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. (40) lines up during an NCAA football game against New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

The No. 7 LSU football team scratched and survived a tough road battle against the Arkansas Razorbacks by a 13-10 score Saturday.

With that, Alabama has been eliminated from SEC West title contention, meaning that the Crimson Tide will not participate in this year's SEC Championship Game.

Entering Saturday, LSU sat atop the division at 5-1, with Ole Miss (4-1) and Alabama (4-2) right behind the Tigers. The Tigers had head-to-head tiebreaker advantages over both teams, though, thanks to a 45-20 victory against the Rebels and a 32-31 overtime win versus the Crimson Tide.

LSU is now 6-1 with one SEC game left (all teams play eight conference games). Alabama can finish 6-2 at best, so there is no way the Crimson Tide can leap the Tigers in the standings given the lost tiebreaker.

Ole Miss can still win the division if the Rebels win out and LSU loses to Texas A&M on Nov. 26.

But LSU is in the driver's seat thanks largely to first-year linebacker Harold Perkins, who had four sacks, including a strip-sack of Arkansas quarterback Cade Fortin on the Razorbacks' final drive that effectively ended the game.

His defensive dominance was good enough to overcome a tough day for the LSU offense, which managed just 86 yards through the air. Arkansas fought hard, however, on a day where it did not have starting signal-caller KJ Jefferson because of injury.

The Tigers can now lock up their first conference championship game berth since the title-winning season of 2019 against the Aggies, who are 1-5 in conference and 3-6 overall.

As for Alabama, the LSU win makes their College Football Playoff hopes even bleaker with the season winding down.