Tag Archives: sec championship game

Arkansas comes up short against LSU

We were yelling our heads off at my house when raced out to a 14-0 lead, and we were excited in the 3rd quarter when the razorbacks intercepted a pass at the ten and then followed that up with a 60 yard gain a few plays later with a chance to tie the score. However, LSU rose up and stopped us inside the 10 and we had to settle for a field goal.

Still a great year and it was super to be in the national championship conversation this late in the year. Our only two losses have to the two best teams in the nation. That reminds me of 2006 when we finished 10-4 and our four losses came to teams who finished in the top 5 (USC, LSU, Wisconsin, and Florida).

Here is story from Yahoo Sports below:

No. 1 LSU powers past No. 3 Arkansas, 41-17

By BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer19 minutes ago

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP)—Tyrann Mathieu returned a punt 92 yards for a score, LSU punished third-rankedArkansas with 286 yards rushing, and the top-ranked Tigers secured a spot in the SEC championship game with a 41-17 victory Friday.

Kenny HilliardSpencer Ware and Jordan Jefferson all scored on the ground for LSU (12-0, 8-0 SEC), which is 12-0 for the first time and will play No. 13Georgia next weekend in Atlanta.

A win over the Bulldogs would assure the Tigers their third trip to the BCS title game in nine seasons. Though at this point, LSU might be able to get there even if it loses.

Arkansas took a surprising 14-0 lead on Tyler Wilson’s TD pass to Jarius Wright and Alonzo Highsmith’s 47-yard fumble return, but LSU stormed back by scoring 41 of the next 44 points in the game.

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Video and story on Iowa St victory over Oklahoma State

Several pieces of the puzzle have to come together for Arkansas to have a chance at the national title. This was a big piece!!!

Mark Schlabach of ESPN wrote this article below:

AMES, Iowa — So what happens now?

We’ve spent the past few weeks wondering what would happen to the BCS national championship race if No. 2 Oklahoma State lost to No. 5 Oklahoma in the Dec. 3 Bedlam game in Stillwater, Okla.

[+] EnlargeIowa State celebrating

AP Photo/Charlie NeibergallIowa State notched its biggest win in program history Friday night.

We’ve pondered what would happen if No. 1 LSU lost to No. 6 Arkansas in Baton Rouge, La., on the day after Thanksgiving, or maybe even against No. 14 Georgia a week later in the SEC championship game.

If the Cowboys lost to the Sooners, which they’d done in each of the past eight seasons, would No. 3 Alabama play LSU again in the Jan. 9 Allstate BCS National Championship Game?

If not Alabama, then what about No. 4 Oregon? The Ducks lost to the Tigers 40-27 in their Sept. 3 season opener and haven’t lost since.

Or, even better, what would happen if LSU and Oklahoma State both lost?

Well, let the debate begin.

Somehow, Bedlam arrived two weeks early, and it was delivered by the most unlikely of teams. Iowa State, which had been 0-56-2 against opponents ranked in the top six of the Associated Press top 25 poll since 1936, stunned the No. 2 Cowboys 37-31 in double overtime at Jack Trice Stadium.

The Cowboys, who only had to win at Iowa State and then beat Oklahoma at home to punch their tickets to the BCS title game, had a chance to defeat the Cyclones in regulation. But after OSU intercepted a tipped pass at the Iowa State 29 with the score tied at 24 with 3:16 to play, Cowboys kicker Quinn Sharp narrowly missed a 37-yard field goal wide right with 1:17 to go.

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After the teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime, the Cyclones intercepted Heisman Trophy candidate Brandon Weeden for the third time on the first play of the second overtime. Three plays later, Iowa State running back Jeff Woody plowed into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown, giving the Cyclones their biggest win in school history.

“Once I got in the end zone, I realized the enormity of what happened,” Woody said. “Senior night. Friday night on ESPN; only show in town. We’re 0-for-history [against top-six teams]. We need a sixth win to go bowling, and on ESPN.com they say we’ve got a 12 percent chance of playing in a bowl. All those things combined together create the perfect storm.”

On a cold night in America’s heartland, the Cyclones turned the BCS race into an absolute mess.

“We knew when we got on the field, it was our time,” said Iowa State quarterback Jared Barnett, who completed 31 of 58 passes for 376 yards with three touchdowns, while running 14 times for 84 yards. “It was our time to shock the world.”

It was a nightmare for the Cowboys, who might have been playing with heavy hearts after OSU women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant Miranda Serna and two others were killed in a plane crash Thursday. The Pokes committed a season-high five turnovers against Iowa State.

[+] EnlargeBrandon Weeden

AP Photo/Charlie NeibergallHeisman candidate Brandon Weeden threw three costly picks in the loss.

“Obviously, it’s a real tough loss for our team, and I hated it for the guys,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “But it’s real simple: If you lose the turnover battle in such a big fashion, it’s definitely difficult to win games, especially on the road. We had five turnovers. And with five turnovers, it’s quite difficult to overcome.”

Weeden didn’t labor through the game, completing 42 of 58 passes for 476 yards with three touchdowns, but his three interceptions were costly. Running back Joseph Randle lost two fumbles, and the Cowboys failed to cover an onside kick in the third quarter.

“They’re just mental errors,” OSU receiver Tracy Moore said. “Fumbles aren’t something Joe does and throwing picks isn’t like Brandon. You can blame it on the weather, but that’s not what we do. I don’t expect it to happen in the next game. Those are the things that happened just in this game and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

With two more weeks to play in college football’s regular season, the Cowboys might not be entirely out of the BCS championship race. But their loss at Iowa State certainly pushes them to the back of the line.

As many as five teams — LSU, Alabama, Oregon, Oklahoma and Arkansas — could end up being in the mix to play in New Orleans. The Tigers still have to play at Ole Miss on Saturday, host Arkansas next week and then play in the SEC championship game if they win the first two. Alabama plays FCS foe Georgia Southern at home Saturday and at No. 24 Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 26, which is never a given regardless of the teams’ records.

The Ducks might be tested by USC at home on Saturday night and then host rival Oregon State in the Nov. 26 Civil War. Oklahoma still has three games to play — at No. 22 Baylor on Saturday, home against suddenly dangerous Iowa State next week and then at Oklahoma State.

The Razorbacks host Mississippi State on Saturday before playing at LSU next week.

With so many games left to be played, there’s still a lot left to shake out.

But there’s little doubt the Cyclones mucked it up pretty good on Friday night.

“We know this isn’t the end of the road,” Iowa State receiver Darius Darks said. “It didn’t surprise us.”

Hang on. College football might have plenty of more surprises in store for us.

Mark Schlabach covers college sports for ESPN.com. You can contact him at schlabachma@yahoo.com.

Follow Mark Schlabach on Twitter: @Mark_Schlabach

Razorbacks’ road to national championship just got more simple

[+] EnlargeTyler Wilson

Before the BCS standings came out yesterday, it was the common belief that the Arkansas Razorbacks were possibly going to finish 11-1 and miss out on a BCS bowl, but now that has all changed. Arkansas is sitting pretty at number 3 and I no longer hope Auburn beats Alabama so we can get into the SEC Championship game. ALL WE HAVE TO DO NOW IS BEAT LSU AND WAIT TO BE INVITED TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

That means instead of beating two great teams (LSU and Georgia), we just got a bye if we beat LSU and Alabama has to go face Georgia!!!!

Life is funny that way sometimes. The Arkansas News Bureau reported:

“I think we’ll have the opportunity,” Bequette said. “That’s what I believe.”

All we got to do is beat LSU and keep that boot in Arkansas hands. Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times Blog rightly noted, “The Boot looms larger than ever.” (Picture below from Arkansas Times Blog)

boot.JPG

Below is an article from Arkansas 360.

11/20/2011 at 8:54pm

Arkansas’ approach to climbing in the BCS Standings has paid off.

Rather than politick or complain, the Razorbacks just talked about the importance of winning and letting the rankings “take care of themselves.” Now they sit at No. 3 with an opportunity to play No. 1 LSU on Friday for a shot at the BCS national title.

Of course the Razorbacks had help to go along with their seventh consecutive victory, a 44-17 demolition of Mississippi State.

A wild weekend of upsets in college football, including Iowa State over Oklahoma State, USC over Oregon and Baylor over Oklahoma, helped the Razorbacks climbed three spots.

This is the highest ranking for Arkansas since Jan. 4, 1978.

Joining the Razorbacks in the Top 3 are the Tigers and No. 2 Alabama. All three aren’t just members of the SEC, they’re all in the SEC West Division.

BCS Top 10
1. LSU (11-0)
2. Alabama (10-1)
3. Arkansas (10-1)
4. Okla. State (10-1)
5. Virginia Tech (10-1)
6. Stanford (10-1)
7. Boise State (9-1)
8. Houston (11-0)
9. Oklahoma (8-2)
10. Oregon (9-2)

______________________

Update: I just checked Tolbert out and here is what he had to say:

As I see it, there are three possible ways Arkansas could end up playing in New Orleans on January 9 and much of it depends on Alabama.

  1. Auburn beats Alabama – By far, the clearest path for Arkansas is for Auburn to help us out by beating Alabama when they meet in Auburn on Saturday.  This – along with Arkansas beating LSU – would likely put Arkansas at the top of the polls in the SEC Championship game against Georgia.  Then, if Arkansas beats Georgia, they will play for the National Championship.
  2. Alabama beats Auburn, but loses to Georgia – If Alabama and Arkansas both win, there will be a three-way tie. It could go several ways, but most likely this would mean Alabama would play Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.  However, Georgia is one of the most improved teams in the country.  After losing their first two games, they won their next nine straight. If Georgia pulls an upset here, Arkansas could go to the title game.
  3. Alabama beats Alabama and Georgia – There is still a good chance Arkansas could play for the National Championship even if Alabama wins out.  Of course, Alabama would go but we could be their opponent in an all-SEC title game.  To do this Arkansas will need to overcome a couple of biases.  Voters in the polls which factor into BCS rankings do not like to see a non-conference winner in the title game nor do they like to see two teams from the same conference.  The best case Arkansas can make to overcome these biases is to not only beat LSU on Friday, but to win big.

SEC week 12: SEC dominates BCS, Vandy gets ripped off by refs

By Chris Low
As it turns out, the weekend was a productive one for the SEC, even if there were more than a few shaky performances around the league against lesser opponents.Here’s a look at what we learned in Week 12:1. BCS takes on SEC flavor: Brad Edwards, ESPN’s BCS standings guru, is projecting that the top three teams in the newest BCS standings that come out Sunday night will be No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Arkansas. In other words, it might as well be an SEC world. The losses over the weekend by Oklahoma State, Oregon and Oklahoma cleared the path more than ever for two SEC teams to meet in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game and extend the league’s streak to six straight national titles. And at this point, it’s just about impossible to come up with a scenario that doesn’t include at least one SEC team in the national title game when you look at the entire BCS picture after this weekend. LSU obviously controls its own destiny. But, really, so does Alabama. In fact, if the Crimson Tide can win comfortably over Auburn next Saturday, they might be in the best shape of anybody, especially if LSU wins Friday over Arkansas. That’s because Alabama would just about be a lock at that point for one of the top two spots in the final BCS standings and wouldn’t have to risk anything in the SEC championship game. Yes, it sounds crazy, but that’s the way it looks right now. As for Arkansas, the Hogs are going to have a difficult time making it to the SEC championship game unless Alabama loses to Auburn or looks shaky in winning over Auburn and drops in the polls. Even so, Arkansas could also settle into that No. 2 spot in the final BCS standings just by winning at LSU next Friday and not going to the SEC championship game. The only team really lurking at this point that could possibly break up the SEC stranglehold is Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are strong in the computers, but they also still have to play Oklahoma on Dec. 3. It was a wild weekend, for sure, but the jockeying these last two weeks could be even wilder.

[+] EnlargeTyler Wilson

AP Photo/Danny JohnstonTyler Wilson continues to spread the ball around as eight different players caught passes on Saturday.

2. Arkansas is on top of its game: For the third straight week, Arkansas blew out an opponent, which suggests that the Hogs are as ready as they’ll ever be to go into Baton Rouge next week and take down No. 1 LSU. Junior quarterback Tyler Wilson is spreading the football around, and Jarius Wright and Joe Adams are the kind of game-breakers who can soften up any defense. The Hogs have been outstanding in special teams and are playing more consistently on defense. This is also a different team than the one that was battered 38-14 at Alabama back in September. For one, the Hogs are healthier. Senior defensive end Jake Bequette is back in the lineup and playing great. He didn’t play at all against Alabama with a hamstring injury. Senior defensive end Tenarius Wright is also back after breaking his arm in the Alabama game, while junior running back Dennis Johnson has added a different dimension to the running game after being slowed by hamstring problems to open the season. What the Hogs still have to prove is that they can win a big game on the road. Take a look at their home performances this season, and take a look at their performances away from home. There’s been a noticeable difference.

3. Vanderbilt is still Vanderbilt: There’s no need to take offense, Vanderbilt fans. We’re not talking about the way the Commodores play, because they’ve come miles under first-year coach James Franklin. We’re talking about all the screwy calls that have seemed to go against Vanderbilt over the years. There’s another one to add to the vault after Saturday’s 27-21 loss to Tennessee in overtime, although Vanderbilt was its own worst enemy in a lot of ways. The Commodores threw three costly interceptions and committed a horrid clipping penalty that nullified a pass play down to the Tennessee 1-yard line. But the officials’ gaffe in overtime was the clincher. An official blew Eric Gordon’s interception return for a touchdown dead because he incorrectly thought that Gordon’s knee had touched the ground. By rule, the play is not reviewable, according to SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw, because a whistle was blown. The Vols should have been given the ball at the 25 for their possession in overtime. But Gordon continued running for a 90-yard touchdown on the play. The officials did allow it to go to the booth for a review, and the call on the field was overturned, giving the Vols the winning touchdown and adding to the Commodores’ misery of late calls that haven’t gone their way.

_________________

Here is another article on the bad call at the Vandy/Vol game:

SEC coordinator of officials: Crew blew call twice in Vols victory

By Andrew Gribble

Originally published 09:35 a.m., November 20, 2011
Updated 06:49 p.m., November 20, 2011

For Tennessee to survive a blown call at the end of Saturday’s 27-21 victory over Vanderbilt, the officiating crew made it right by bypassing proper protocol.

SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw released a statement early Sunday morning detailing how the crew erred on multiple occasions during the game’s final, hectic moment.

“On the last play of the Vanderbilt-Tennessee game, in overtime, the Tennessee defender intercepted the pass, his knee did not touch the ground and he returned the interception for a touchdown,” Shaw wrote of Eric Gordon’s game-winning, 90-yard interception return for a touchdown. “During the play, the head linesman incorrectly ruled that the Tennessee player’s knee was down when he intercepted the pass by blowing his whistle and giving the dead ball signal. The play was reviewed as if there was no whistle on the field and as a result, overturned the incorrect ruling.

“By rule, if there was a whistle blown, the play is not reviewable.”

But it was, and UT (5-6, 1-6 SEC) escaped with its first SEC win of the season and its 28th win in the past 29 meetings against the Commodores (5-6, 2-6).

“He made a huge play and it was really exciting and then it almost got ripped out,” UT coach Derek Dooley said. “But you know what, maybe the ole luck has turned on Tennessee.”

Though he was irate on the field, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin was calm and even-keeled when detailing his side of the story shortly after the game.

“They blew the play dead,” Franklin said. “They blew him down, but they explained to me again why you can do that and it still counts.

“They explained every call on the sideline and I didn’t have my rulebook. They explained it very well. (The referees) were very pleasant when they explained them.”

 James Franklin – Tennessee 27, Vanderbilt 21 (Nov. 19, 2011)

Uploaded by on Nov 19, 2011

http://vucommodores.com – Vanderbilt football Head Coach James Franklin addresses the media following the Commodores’ 27-21 loss to Tennessee at Neyland Stadium on Nov. 19, 2011.

Will Dooley be given enough time to turn Vols around? Arkansas loss energizes foes of Dooley jh84

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

When I went to hear Johnny Majors speak the other day at the Little Rock Touchdown Club, I took note that Majors really liked Dooley and thought he would succeed. However, Majors said the administration may not give him enough time.

On the way to the Tennessee game from Little Rock on Saturday morning I stopped at a truckstop in Ozark where a bus load of Tennessee fans were. They were in the men’s room talking about Dooley. One said, “We have never been 0-5 in the SEC before in my whole life. We need to get a new coach!!” Several others disputed with that and said that Dooley needed another year to show improvement. We will just have to see what happens.

Below is an article from the Knoxville Newspaper:

Five thoughts on SEC football as the season approaches the two-minute drill:

A tip of the visor to Georgia and Mark Richt. Left for dead — by many of their own fans — after an 0-2 start, the Bulldogs have only one bit of unfinished business left to wrap up their first appearance in the SEC championship game since 2005.

All Georgia has to do is beat Kentucky on Saturday and Richt will be grand marshal of the parade from Athens to Atlanta.

When Georgia lost to South Carolina on Sept. 10, it looked as if Richt might be wearing tar and feathers on a one-way trip out of Athens.

Tennessee fans can only wonder how different things might have been if the schedules had been flipped. The Bulldogs played Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State from the West, who are a combined 5-14 in SEC play.

Tennessee played Alabama, LSU and Arkansas, who are a combined 19-2, the two losses against each other.

Maybe you hadn’t heard about The SEC-Southern Conference Challenge.

What other explanation for Saturday’s schedule with four SEC foes stepping down against FCS teams from the Southern Conference.

There’s South Carolina-Citadel, Florida-Furman and Auburn-Samford. The marquee match is 9-1 Alabama against 9-1 Georgia Southern.

Hey, Tennessee wants in on the act. The Vols would rather play Chattanooga than Vanderbilt this week.

Can a coach get fired after two years?

No, I’m not talking aboutDerek Dooley. Kentucky’s fortunes have declined precipitously since Joker Phillips replaced Rich Brooks.

The conditions that have led to Tennessee’s dire straits have been well documented. Kentucky’s situation has been a picture of stability in comparison, Phillips the coach-in-waiting as Brooks played out his string.

Phillips won’t get fired after two years, but a significant segment of the Big Blue fan base has already cut bait.

There is great defense in the SEC this year, but isn’t there some bad offense, too?

Nine SEC teams rank 76th or worse in total offense, and that includes No. 1 LSU (79th).

Kentucky is 118th, Ole Miss 113th. In spots 96-99 are, respectively, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida and Vanderbilt. South Carolina is 86th.

In scoring offense, seven schools rank 68th or worse, including Florida (82), Auburn (84), Tennessee (102), Ole Miss (109) and Kentucky (113).

Which brings me to UT’s five-game run without a second-half score.

Bad things are repeating themselves.

Exhibit A: Tennessee’s first possession of the second half at Arkansas was sabotaged by a sack (minus-11 yards), followed by a shanked punt that gave Arkansas great field position for a touchdown drive.

We’d seen that sequence before. Against Georgia, the Vols started the second half with a bad shotgun snap (minus-15 yards), followed by a short punt that gave the Bulldogs field position for a touchdown drive.

Exhibit B: Dooley gambled on fourth-and-1 at his 40 against Arkansas and lost. The Razorbacks took over and threw a 40-yard TD pass on their first play.

At Alabama, Dooley gambled and lost on fourth-and-1 at his 39. The Tide took over and threw a 39-yard TD pass on the first play.

While I’m at it, at the end of the first half at Arkansas, Justin Worley threw an interception at the 1. Against South Carolina, he was intercepted at the 2.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/strangemike44 and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/strange.

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley reacts as Arkansas scores their seventh touchdown of the night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley looks at the point after attempt that put Arkansas ahead 49-7 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley looks at the point after attempt that put Arkansas ahead 49-7 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Nov. 12, 2011. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

The two roads to a Razorback national championship in 2011 jh83

An impressive 49-7 victory over the UT Vols helped the Razorbacks rise to #6 in the BCS. Now we need Oklahoma to beat Okl St and Auburn to beat Alabama and then Arkansas will have a road to the National Championship. With a victory over Miss St and LSU and then a victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game then Arkansas would climb to the either 1 or 2 in the BCS and qualify for the BCS Championship game.

The second road would be if we beat Miss St and LSU and Alabama goes to the SEC Championship game and loses to Georgia.

Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson scored on two touchdown runs of 71 and 15 yards Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, helping the Razorbacks post a 49-7 victory over Tennessee and rise from No. 8 to No. 6 in the BCS standings.

Photo by Jason Ivester

Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson scored on two touchdown runs of 71 and 15 yards Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, helping the Razorbacks post a 49-7 victory over Tennessee and rise from No. 8 to No. 6 in the BCS standings.

Below article from today’s Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

Monday, November 14, 2011

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has matched its highest Bowl Championship Series ranking at No. 6 in the latest standings released on Sunday night.

The Razorbacks also were No. 6 in the Nov. 19, 2006 BCS standings after a 28-14 victory at Mississippi State clinched the SEC West title and extended their winning streak to 10 games. Arkansas lost to LSU 31-26 in its next game to begin a three-game losing skid to end the 2006 season.

Arkansas (9-1, 5-1) moved up two spots from No. 8 in last week’s BCS standings thanks to a 49-7 victory over Tennessee on Saturday night Alabama (9-1) at .910, Oregon (9-1) at .876 and Oklahoma (9-1) at .840. The Razorbacks are at .797.

Arkansas moved up two spots in the human polls that form two-thirds of the BCS equation — from No. 8 to No. 6 in the USA Today/Coaches poll and the Harris poll.

combined with Boise State losing to TCU 36-35 and Stanford losing to Oregon 53-30.

Stanford fell from No. 4 to No. 9 in the BCS standings while Boise State fell from No. 5 to No. 10.

LSU (10-0) remains No. 1 with a .993 score, followed by Oklahoma State (10-0) at .946,

Arkansas remained at No. 6 in the computer rankings, which make up one-third of the formula, moving ahead of Boise State, which went from tied for 4th to 12th in the computers. Oregon, No. 8 in last week’s computer component, moved into a tie for fourth with Oklahoma after defeating previously unbeaten Stanford.

Arkansas moved over Stanford in the human polls, but the Hogs were already ahead of the Cardinal in the computer last week.

Overall, the Hogs added .050 to their BCS average, going from .745 to .795, the second-largest upward move of any team in the top six. No. 4 Oregon rose 1.047 after beating Stanford.

Arkansas’ move from No. 8 to No. 6 was to be expected after the losses of Stanford and Boise State. The Oregon-Stanford game was still being played while the Razorbacks did postgame interviews, but they knew Boise State had lost.

“It was good to see Boise State lose,” Arkansas senior defensive end Jake Bequette said. “I’m not a big fan of theirs. Hopefully, we’ll take their place and just keep moving up.”

The Razorbacks actually took Oklahoma’s place at No. 6, but the opportunity is there for them to go higher in the next two weeks with games against Mississippi State on Saturday in Little Rock and at LSU on Nov. 25. If the Razorbacks win those two games, they possibly could play in the SEC Championship Game depending on what Alabama does in its final two games against Georgia Southern and at Auburn.

“Being 9-1 is great, but I think there’s still some wins left out there for us, and a lot of goals left out there to achieve,” Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson said. “We’re going to keep pressing forward and really focus on finishing strong.”

The Razorbacks routed Tennessee in the final Fayetteville game for 17 seniors. Four of the seniors scored touchdowns: receivers Joe Adams and Jarius Wright and running backs Broderick Green and De’Anthony Curtis.

“It was just fun to watch,” Wilson said of the big plays by the seniors. “It’s fun to see the evolution of the entire program, where it was when we walked in and started a bunch of young guys.

“We really kind of got beat up that first year [in 2008], and to see where we’re at now, and send them out right, feels great.”

Bequette said he didn’t take any time Saturday night soaking in the scene at his last game in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

“This is all business right now,” Bequette said. “This team’s on a mission. We’re not taking any time to look around and enjoy the scenery.

“We’re 9-1 and we’ve got two big SEC games left. This was just one more win.”

The SEC has three of the top six teams in the BCS standings for the third time. The other two times were the fourth week standings in 1999 (No. 4 Florida, No. 5 Tennessee and No. 6 Alabama) and first week standings n 2005 (No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Alabama and No. 6 LSU).

Other SEC teams in this week’s BCS standings are are No. 12 South Carolina, No. 14 Georgia and No. 24 Auburn.

Tom Murpy’s ballot

  1. LSU 2. Oklahoma State 3. Alabama 4. Arkansas 5. Oregon 6. Oklahoma 7. Clemson 8. Georgia 9. Wisconsin 10. Virginia Tech 11. Stanford 12. Boise State 13. S. Carolina 14. Nebraska 15. Mich. State 16. Southern Cal 17. Kansas State 18. Houston 19. Michigan 20. Florida State 21. TCU 22. So. Miss 23. Virginia 24. Notre Dame 25. Georgia Tech

DROPPED OUT

Penn State, Cincinnati, Texas

Sports, Pages 15 on 11/14/2011