Arkansas Razorbacks Can Still Play For The National Championship If…

Here is one of the scenarios we came up with that allows Arkansas to play for a National Championship in 2010-2011.

  1. Arkansas wins out through week 11, and goes into Little Rock to face LSU with a 10-1 record. This will undoubtedly move Arkansas up in the rankings from current #11 ranking into the Top 5, almost regardless of what other teams are doing.
  2. Auburn, outside of a merciless beat down at the hands of the Razorbacks, wins the rest of their games through week 11, and goes to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama with a 10-1 record ranked behind Arkansas.
  3. Alabama also wins all of its games through week 11 (not that hard to believe).
  4. In week 12, Arkansas beats LSU AND Alabama loses the “Iron Bowl” to Auburn.

This likely does two things.

  1. A three-team tie is created atop the SEC West.
  2. Arkansas should be high enough to have Alabama fall below the Hogs in the post-week-12 rankings.

3 Way Tie-Breaker

In this scenario, Arkansas will win the SEC West tie-breaker for having the highest BCS ranking of the three tied teams and earn a spot in the SEC Championship Game. (NOTE: it could be possible that Auburn’s win over Alabama could vault the Tigers over the Razorbacks in the polls, but I think because: (1) Arkansas beat Auburn down in October and (2) Arkansas will be getting an impressive win of its own that week, Arkansas will hold Auburn back)

Arkansas does what it couldn’t do in 2006 and beats Florida in Atlanta

A one-loss SEC champion is going to play for the national title this year. While Boise State and TCU may not lose, a 12-1, SEC Champion Arkansas team would almost certainly jump over them based on how much stronger their computer poll numbers would be.

A Few Losses That Would Help

This leaves Ohio State, Oregon, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Arizona as potentially ahead of Arkansas.

  • Arizona and Oregon will knock one of each other off
  • Oklahoma and Nebraska – if the Sooners even make it to the Big 12 title game.
  • Ohio State needs to lose to at least one out of  @Wisconsin, Penn St, @Iowa or Mich.
  • Oregon needs to lose to at least one out of @USC, Wash, @Cal, AZ or @OR St.
  • Huskers need to lose to at least one out of TX, @OSU, Mizzou, @A&M or Big 12 Championship Game

Arkansas is in. Simple as that!

– Warzecha –


16 responses to this post.

  1. Wow Jacob, I think somebody needs to pinch you because you’re clearly dreaming. I think UofA needs to set their sights a little lower…like the Liberty Bowl again. What have they done this season to prove they even belong in the same conversation with the top teams in contention? Sure I know it’s hypothetical and your story is just for fun but I find it comical how a 4 point loss to the top ranked team stands as the highlight of their season thus far, now you’re playing for a national title. Beat somebody other than Georgia (1-4) or ULM (1-3) then start the bowl discussions. If I were a UofA fan I’d be worrying about how our defense was going to stop Jerrod Johnson and his receivers on Saturday instead of the most unlikely of BCS scenarios. Like the blog guys keep up the good work!


    • You have a good point about not having beat a really good team. But name another team that even made Bama sweat, let alone take em to the wire.


      • Not only have they not beat a really good team, they haven’t even beat a decent team. The season is 5 games young. Don’t you think your question is a bit premature? You’re beating your chest about a game you “almost” won…how many BCS teams are hanging their BCS hopes on a moral victory? None.


    • Posted by Warzecha on October 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm

      I absolutely think Arkansas deserves to be talked about with the likes of Arizona, Oklahoma, Auburn, Boise State, TCU and LSU. Probably even Ohio State on a neutral field. And while I think Nebraska, Oregon and Bama are better than the Hogs, apparently we’re good enough to lead the highest ranked of the three for 56 minutes of football. Who has Nebraska beaten?

      And our defense did a fine job of stopping Bama’s passing game. They are better than A&M’s in every way other than passing attempts. Johnson will throw a couple TDs, sure. Who wouldn’t when throwing 40+ times? The Hogs are ranked #11 in the NATION for a reason. They are talented and well coached. I see no reason why they cannot beat Auburn, USC(East), and LSU. They will not have any trouble with the rest of the schedule.

      I think Arkansas winning out is more likely than Arkansas losing two more games this year. Now all the other stuff falling into place is another story, but I would be surprised if the Hogs did not play their way into a BCS game.


      • Why should Arkansas be mentioned with those other teams? What miraculously happened between appearing in the Liberty Bowl last year, til now that proves they deserve mention with the elites? Other than having beaten 3 below average D-1 teams…nothing. Again it’s amazing how much emphasis you fans put on moral victories. This team will lose 3 more games and end up 8-4 at best. (9-3 if you count moral victories)


      • I think you have to treat it as a measuring stick game versus a moral victory. After Bama destroyed Florida, it proved that Arkansas has the ability to be a top team this year…basically a measuring stick to say “we can compete with anyone.” That is what has raised the hope and expectations this year. Your mention of a Liberty Bowl team is valid but think about how the Hogs finished last season. Other than a last second loss to LSU, they were on fire and on track to be in a much bigger bowl. Another offseason under their belt is what was needed to make them a better team. I do agree that they haven’t beaten anyone but the same could be said for a lot of top teams. I’m pretty sure Nebraska hasn’t taken down any powerhouses either yet they definitely deserve to be in the top 10. I know i wouldn’t want to play them. That’s how most folks around the country feel about Arkansas. This scenario has a lot of moving parts but has some legs. Let’s see what happens week-to-week but keep this in mind as the season unfolds. One thing is for sure, it’s been a long time since anyone could have an open debate about this. Thanks for the feedback Justin….nicely presented.



      • Posted by Warzecha on October 5, 2010 at 4:44 pm

        Why shouldn’t they? Win, lose, or draw they proved that their defense is much improved from last year in the Bama game (and all season, whether they were playing bad teams or not). They can only play who is on their schedule. If we have to guess based on the teams’ performance to date, is it not reasonable to assume that the way Arkansas played Bama makes it likely that they are a top tier team? I mean, surely Florida is a Top 20 team, and if that is true, would it not be reasonable to think Arkansas should be higher than that?

        Bottom line is that if we lose to A&M or Auburn in the next two weeks, we’ll know that you were closer to being right than we were, and vice versa if we win. But either way, at this point, I find it hard to listen to the argument that it is not reasonable to think that this Arkansas team is a Top 10 team this year. And by the way, those paid to determine such things apparently agree. (See AP & ESPN/Coach’s Polls)


        • I admire your ferver for your team, and I believe my extreme dislike for them coupled with your “hog colored glasses” doesn’t make for a fair assessment one way or the other. Allow me to examine this BCS possibility in more detail though. In order for UofA to receive a BCS invite, they would either have to A. win the SEC conference or B. gather one of the 2 at-large invites obviously. In order to play for the SEC championship would that not mean that Alabama would have to lose twice in SEC play, since Bama holds the tiebreaker and thus would put UofA at 2nd in the West? 2nd place in the SEC-w likely would mean the Hogs come out of the SEC as the #3 team meaning likely the Cotton Bowl is the best case scenario. I might have missed something but that’s my honest assessment. Of course this doesn’t take into consideration things such as the records of other non-sec teams and the BCS standings themselves which obviously would have an impact in the final BCS rankings.


          • Posted by Warzecha on October 6, 2010 at 8:29 am

            There is ample history of the top team not to play in the SECCG getting an at-large over the loser of the SEC title game. In fact, from 1998, college football’s first year under the tyranny of the BCS, to 2007, the SEC sent two teams to BCS bowls in only 5 different years. Not once did both teams that played in the SECCG get bids.

            1998 – Miss. St. lost in SECCG to Tennessee, and Florida became an at-large
            1999 – Florida lost in SECCG to Alabama, and Tennessee became an at-large
            2001 – Tennessee lost in SECCG to LSU, and Florida became an at-large
            2006 – Arkansas lost in SECCG to Florida, and LSU became an at-large
            2007 – Tennessee lost in SECCG to LSU, and Georgia became an at-large

            Only in the last two years, when Alabama and Florida were ranked #1 & #2 going into the SECCG, have both SECCG participants received BCS bids. We should be able to agree that such a scenario is not going to play out in 2010.

            If Arkansas, as I assume it will, beats Auburn and LSU (and let’s say for the sake of argument loses to S. Carolina), they will end the season 10-2, 2nd in the SEC West and at least Top 12 in the BCS.

            When Alabama pounds Florida for the 2nd time, Florida will not be getting an at-large. It probably will be at least their 3rd loss. Thus, Arkansas is chosen for the SEC at-large. I think THIS prediction is far less inconceivable than the one in the original post. Don’t you agree?


      • Posted by brent on October 7, 2010 at 10:04 am

        name the 3 teams arkansas will lose to


        • You could argue Auburn, South Carolina & LSU.
          Personally I don’t think they will lose to all three, but its not crazy to think that they could.


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  3. Posted by Craftony "The Greek" on October 6, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Why not this scenario? Bama pummels everybody they meet as they did Florida to finish a clear cut number one. Arkansas does the same and after those key losses that would have to happen, the BcS poll spits us out at number 2 and we get a rematch in the desert. Before you say this can’t happen remember it actually has happened once and almost happened again. Before the BcS Florida lost in the regular season to Fl St. but earned a rematch with them as they destroyed everybody else along the way. They then won the national championship in the rematch. Just four years ago it took a Reggie Fish fumble inside the 10 yard line to propel Florida over Arkansas in the SEC championship game. Florida then jumped number 2 Michigan and beat down Ohio St. in the national championship. If Florida would have lost to Arkansas we would have seen not only a regular season rematch but a rematch of the very last game the 2 teams played.


    • Posted by Warzecha on October 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

      Ughhh….don’t remind me of that Reggie Fish fumble. Such a small person, attending my alma mater, was able to single-handedly keep my favorite team from meeting its greatest rival in the national title game. I almost transferred…


  4. Posted by Jeff on October 8, 2010 at 7:10 am

    i still think it’s funny when people talk about Arkansas not being worthy of competing for the BCS title game because the teams we play but yet Florida has about 4 FCS teams on their schedule and they’re considered a power house team???



  5. Posted by Tim on October 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I find it funny when people say that Arkansas is not worthy of competing for the BCS title game because the teams we play are not very good yet those same people say that Boise is one of the two best teams in the country and can’t help who is on their schedule.


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