You might wonder why I seem so interested in this rivalry series thing.
The first seeds of thought about this were planted by these comments by a former SportingNews columnist:
I believe Arkansas fans would be more fired up about playing schools like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Kansas. They could drive to those venues with their hot hats on. And how cool would it be if the Razorbacks could renew their old SWC hate-fest with Texas?
Go ahead, call the Hogs.
Instead, Hogs fans have been force-fed a “rivalry” with LSU.
My first blog in defense of the LSU/Arkansas rivalry was written on November 23, 2006, just hours before the game the next day. That was the first blog of mine that generated any significant number of responses (I got 22 comments in all). 2006 was my first college football season of blogging. My first blog on the SportingNews had been a re-post of my final rankings for the 2005 season.
I didn’t think people would be that interested in historical facts and figures about college football rivalries, but since that interests me and it interested my readers then, I started doing them for all the teams. One benefit of the SportingNews closing its community has been my opportunity to revisit these.
In Deinhart’s defense, the rivalry has gotten a lot more interesting since his blog. That year, LSU knocked off Arkansas in Little Rock that year, 31-26, putting any thoughts of the Hogs playing for the national championship to rest (they had had a 10-game winning streak going into the game). LSU made the Sugar Bowl as a result of that win.
In 2007, Arkansas apparently returned the favor, handing the Tigers their second loss with a 50-48 3-overtime win in Baton Rouge. LSU of course would win the BCS and AP national titles anyway after a series of losses by higher-ranked teams and the Tigers’ SEC championship win over Tennessee pur LSU in the BCS championship game.
The two teams exchanged home wins in 2008 and 2009…
2009 POST-GAME: The last 5 games (2005-09) were decided by a total of 13 points, and two of those games were in overtime. 6 of the last 9 games were decided by three points or less, and a 7th was decided by 5 points. If Arkansas had won this game, it would have been the first time Arkansas beat LSU three games in a row in 80 years. 1929 had been Arkansas’s last win over LSU before Arkansas joined the SEC. The Hogs beat the Tigers 7 times in the 1920s. The decades since then depend on what you count. In the numerical ’90s, Arkansas won three times, but if count the ’90s as 1991-2000, Arkansas won four times. If you count 2000 as part of the ’00s, Arkansas won three times in the ’00s. If not, Arkansas has won twice with a chance to make it three.
2011 and 2012 Notes: In 2011, LSU won by 24 points, the largest margin of victory in the series since Les Miles became the head coach at LSU. The previous largest-margin was Arkansas’s 8-point win in 2010. The largest margin in an LSU win had been 5 points in 2006.
2012 was a more typical LSU-Arkansas game. LSU led by only 4 going into the last two minutes before kicking a field goal. Then Arkansas had a 60-yard drive, giving the Hogs a chance to tie with a touchdown on the final play from the LSU 20. But Tyler Wilson’s pass to the end zone fell incomplete. This broke a streak of four consecutive games in the series in which the home team won. However, it marked the seventh time in eight games (and ninth time in twelve games) that the margin was 8 points or fewer.
The games since Arkansas joining the SEC are somewhat easily summarized: Arkansas won 2 in a row, LSU won 4 in a row, Arkansas won 3 of 5, LSU won 4 in a row, Arkansas won 3 of 4, and now LSU has won 2 in a row.
I’ll start off by mentioning a couple other writings of mine that might provide some interesting backstory. I wrote the first last week about Les Miles’ record at LSU, but it also compares his record to that of other coaches, including Saban’s at LSU and Alabama. Then of course there is my blog about the LSU/Alabama rivalry, dominated for decades by Alabama but controlled by LSU for much of the first decade of the 21st century before becoming competitive again of late.
This is unrelated, but I also wanted to share a couple of links about Marcus Lattimore. Spurrier got a bit of criticism for his sort of backhanded acknowledgement of Dabo Swinney’s kind words about Lattimore. Dabo didn’t go quite as far as “Hog Lady” though. The SEC isn’t just great defenses and running backs, you have to love the fans and personalities as well.
Back to the important goings on, we do have two of the most successful active head coaches with their current programs facing one another, and of course LSU was fortunate to have had them both.
If you’ll look at the stats I gave in the Les Miles blog, I think it’s an even bigger coaching match-up with Urban Meyer at a new school and with Pete Carroll in the NFL. It’s harder to argue there are other guys doing as well or better.
There was a time where the Red River Rivalry had two coaches that were at about the same level Miles and Saban are now, but I think both Texas and Oklahoma have gone a little downhill in recent years. And there was never a point where that game featured two programs with a combined 3 national championship and one runner-up in 5 seasons, with of course one runner-up in that time (LSU last year) as well. (It took 10 seasons for Oklahoma and Texas to accumulate two national championships and three runners-up between them; two national championships and one runner-up took place in the six seasons between 2000 and 2005.)
Of course, when Urban Meyer was still at Florida, his game against the Tigers in 2009 represented 4 combined championships since 2003. So that was bigger at the time, especially being that Saban hadn’t won one at Alabama yet.
Saban and Miles followed similar trajectories on their way to LSU. A little bit of NFL experiences, but they were hired from being the head coaches at second-fiddle state universities. I don’t mean to take anything away from them, but the great programs in Michigan and Oklahoma are not the ones that end in “State”, although Sparty has a little more of a substantial history.
I wanted to talk about Miles vs. Saban head-to-head and mention a few notes about the series overall before assessing this season’s game.
Continue to Full Post, including "Miles vs. Saban" and "Game Notes and Preview"
This week I'm filling in for Sully on TOTW...College Football isn't really his thing, and the BCS mess seemed to be the most deserving of the Golden Plunger...
As my good friend B-Dub pointed out Monday, back in 2003 Nick Saban had this to say, "Anyone that doesn't win their conference has no business playing in the national championship game."
So, why hasn't Saban refused to have his team play in the BCS Championship game? His Alabama team didn't win their conference...Hell, they didn't even make it into the conference championship game? Why, because they lost to LSU!
Supporters of the BCS have always defended the system saying that it makes every regular season game count...Well clearly it doesn't, because LSU already beat 'Bama, yet some tool, Jeff Sagarin and his computer program have said 'NOT GOOD ENOUGH! PLAY AGAIN!' So if 'Bama wins, will LSU then get a rematch? No...This tool and his computer program have had Alabama playing in this game all year...
The theory of the BCS is to have the two best teams in the country play for the title...Play for the title, without a playoff...It has lead people to think that teams have to go undefeated, which is a tough thing to do...And it's pretty rare that you'll get two teams, and only two teams that will be undefeated at the end of the year...There have been many years where an undefeated is left outside looking in, because of the computer systems...We've even seen an undefeated team not in the game, while one loss teams play...There are so many flaws it's unreal...
No playoff is retarded...College football, while not "Pros" it is a major sport...Look at the championship winning teams from the past year in major sports...In a BCS type system, with no playoff, the Dallas Mavericks wouldn't have played for the NBA Championship...The Green Bay Packers wouldn't have played in the "Super Bowl"...The Boston Bruins wouldn't have played for the Stanley Cup final...The St. Louis Cardinals wouldn't have played in the World Series...
In all those sports, the regular season mattered...All those teams had to claw their way through it, and fight to get into the playoffs...Then they had to grind through playoffs to be the last team standing...But with college football, we have the BCS...The Bowl Championship Series...A bunch of bowl games that mean nothing, except for the money they generate, and one that means everything...But the games that are played, meant to decided who plays for it all, mean nothing...A Tool, and his computer program decide...
Supposedly strength of schedule is figured in...Every team has a weak opponent or two, and some teams that are thought to be better, but end up having a down year...Well, Alabama played 3 weak SEC teams, along with North Texas, Kent State, and D-2 Georgia Southern...That's 6 weak ass teams...Half their schedule...Looking at Oklahoma State's schedule, there are 4-5 weak games on there...Their one loss just like 'Bama's, a close game, an OT game, a conference game...But guess what...They won their conference, so once again let's look at what Nick Saban said in 2003...
"Anyone that doesn't win their conference has no business playing in the national championship game."
Well ladies and gentlemen, here we are again for a Whip It Out Wednesday at YouGabSports (a couple of hours early). Gotta be honest with you folks... I'm pretty pissed off right now. At college football, at the Detroit Lions, and at Ndamukong Suh. So, without any further delay, I'll get this rant out of my head and into your ear-holes. Enjoy...
First things first, the biggest bitch on everybody's list, our "National Championship Game" featuring a rematch of that 9-6 crapfest between LSU and Alabama. I can give you the usual, recycled message about how this is bullshit, how the NCAA and the BCS are nothing but a pathetic cash-grab... but honestly, anymore, I just do not care anymore. Does it piss me off... hell yes it does. I used to be a HUGE college football fan. Used to truly enjoy watching games, rooting for my favorite and against my least favorite teams... but honestly, any more, does any of it even matter?
Look at what we have this year. A rematch of what was, frankly, a God-awful football game for the national championship. A team that lost, at home, failed to even score a touchdown against the #1 team in the country is somehow #2... and somehow gets a shot at a national championship despite not even winning it's DIVISION... let alone its' conference championship. Alabama acutally BENEFITS from not playing in their conference championship game! A team that took care of its' business in rivalry games, especially against their chief rival in Oklahoma, sits at home and wonders what else it could have done to prove themselves worthy of the all-mighty SEC (aside from the obvious beat Iowa State thing). Honestly though, what does it say about the regular season, about a conference championship, when you hand a title shot to a team that did NOTHING to deserve that title shot while everybody who actually took care of their business gets a hearty pat on the back and a trip to a different bowl game? The whole thing is crap.
Honestly folks, I am DONE. I'm done worrying about it... I'm DONE giving a fuck about college football until something is done here. The BCS is a travesty, a mockery of what was a once great game. Fuck the NCAA, the BCS, and every coach in America who actually voted for Alabama over Oklahoma State. The only BCS bowl game I will actually watch this year will be Oklahoma State-Stanford... and as for the rest of these garbage bowl games, the only way I'll sit and watch them will be if I'm a guest at someone else's home and THEY happen to be watching said games. Bye bye college football... let me know when you get a fucking playoff and the sport is worth watching again.
Now, on to the "big boys"... in some cities at least. Here in Detroit, we've got a group of petulant fucking children disguised as grown men putting on our unis. I'm not exactly a fan of Dominic Raolia... the Lions' starting center for the past ten or so years... but I will agree 100% with his postgame statements after that embarrassing performance in New Orleans on national television Sunday night... GROW THE FUCK UP. Here are his sentiments after the game...
Quick side note... LOVE the last "GROW THE FUCK UP" he threw in there for good measure.
Could NOT agree more. Look, these are grown fucking men on the field. It's bad enough you had the black eye on Thanksgiving with Suh stomping a Packers lineman after grating his face into the fucking turf. Now you get a guy throwing a ball at an opponent, shoving an official, and all kinds of other classless, clueless behavior on the field. Honestly if I'm Jim Schwartz, I take a long, hard look at sending a LOUD message to the entire roster. If it's me, I give Stefan Logan the axe. That's right, his ass is CUT... Monday morning as soon as the waiver wires open. The guy isn't that great a player... we grabbed him off the shit heap and there's another guy just like him waiting out there on that very same shit heap who'll come in and return kicks. That's all the fucking guy does... cut his ass. Show your guys you're not going to tolerate this shit... and if someone else steps out of line... if Pettigrew shoves another ref... suspend his ass.
Plain and simple, this team is in a playoff race right now. Lucky for you, the Bears are a fucking MASH unit right now without their starting backfield, and the Cowboys are, well, the Cowboys, and even the Falcons took a dump this Sunday. You're right where you were last week. Still on the outside looking in, but with a very beatable Minnesota team coming in and a wounded Bears team in front of you. It's pretty easy, if you go 2-2 over your next four, you SHOULD back into the playoffs. The Bears might not win again this year with the problems they have on offense. But if you keep playing and acting like a bunch of fucking clowns on the field, you are not only NOT going to make the playoffs, you are going to be a joke in the NFL once again.
As for Ndamukong Suh... the car accident by its self is not a big deal. Sure, you were driving like an idiot... but what we have here is this guy establishing a history of being a fucking liar. He lied about the stomp instead of manning up, he put on his fancy suit and headed to New York city to figure out just why everybody thought he was a dirty player, and now he's lying to police about a car crash. This guy is nearing pathological liar status the way he's going. Two things Suh... #1, quit doing stupid shit. #2- quit lying about it when you get caught doing stupid shit! It's a pretty simple formula. Learn it, know it, love it, and live it.
That's all I've got for ya tonight Gabbers. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out.