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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Houston out; to take Ole Miss job

You never thought it could get more chaotic than last off-season's firestorm of controversy, right?
Well, the end of this football season is just as bizarro. Following up on the upset of the century against No. 1 LSU on the road last Friday, Houston Nutt announced his resignation as the Arkansas football coach on Monday. In a press conference with the man who just fired him, no less, and the outgoing AD, Frank Broyles.

Only in Arkansas.

Just to put the icing on the cake, Ole Miss has scheduled a press conference at 12:30 today to announce Houston as its new coach.

Should be fun times in the SEC West next year. Burning question of the day is, how will the Arkansas-Ole Miss series go over the next few years? Arkansas has dominated lately, but will Houston's hiring as Ole Miss coach cause momentum to swing in the series?

Bye, Houston. We'll miss ya. Especially one Jimmy G.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hogs Upset LSU 50-48 in Triple Overtime

The Arkansas Razorbacks finished their season with a bang as they upset the number one-rated team in the country, the LSU Tigers, in Death Valley last Friday by a final score of 50-48 in triple overtime. Once again, it was Darren McFadden leading the way with 206 yards on 32 carries, including 3 rushing touchdowns. He also completed 3 passes for 34 yards and a crucial touchdown toss to Peyton Hillis with 5 minutes remaining. Again, as I said after the South Carolina game, it is criminal that I am so numb to McFadden's greatness that I am not even surprised at his performance. I expect him to be Superman, because he's done it time after time, especially in the biggest games. The LSU defense had not given up a 100-yard rusher all season, and the Hogs nearly had 3, with Peyton Hillis and Felix Jones gaining 89 and 85 yards respectively. Simply put, although Les Miles made several coaching blunders, the true story is that on the day after Thanksgiving, the Hogs were the better team.
It was a great win to cap a roller coaster season for the Hogs. Putting away the questions swirling around Houston Nutt, it was great to cheer the Hogs to a big victory. A victory most of us will always remember where we were when it happened. Those games are few and far between, and surely all but the darkest of darksider could set aside their hatred, at least for a few hours, and soak up the win. At least I hope so.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Razorpod and Elisha on Thanksgiving Break

There will be no show this week due to Thanksgiving, but the Razorpod crew have submitted their national predictions. All you need to know about the LSU game is that every Razorpod member, even Johnny Fayetteville, picked the Tigers to defeat the Razorbacks. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tom Logan (44-28): Arizona State, Mississippi State, Auburn, Kansas, LSU, Boise State

Jimmy G (41-31): USC, Mississippi State, Auburn, Missouri, LSU, UCLA

Johnny Fayetteville (39-33): USC, Mississippi State, Auburn, Kansas, LSU, Oklahoma State

Patrick Williams (31-41): USC, Mississippi State, Alabama, Missouri, LSU, Connecticut

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

There are as many stories about whether or not Houston Nutt is going to return as the head coach of the Razorbacks that you can get confused. Since it's my role on the show to be a homer, I'll attach one from The Sporting News that says he's staying.

Whatever happens, I hope the University realizes that this is a very important hire/fire situation. A misstep could be felt for a decade. Lets all be careful what we wish for. The Callahan/Coach O factor could rear its ugly head. I'm just sayin' . . .

By the way, the story on Butch Davis is he's getting an extension to $3.2 million per year for 5 years and expedited expansion of the stadium. That could play a factor, as he is expected to have to make a decision before Friday.

Hogs Defeat MSU 45-31

Despite our predictions, the Hogs and Dawgs put on quite an offensive show this past Saturday at War Memorial Stadium. Casey Dick was the bright spot for the Razorbacks, throwing for 199 yards and 4 touchdowns. This was the sort of passing game that we expected to see this year, in that when defenses key on McFadden and gang up on him, we strike downfield for long touchdown passes. This might have helped in September. Oh well. Hogs win 45-31. Darren McFadden, although held to 88 yards rushing, had a 57 yard touchdown catch from Casey Dick and a 24 yard touchdown pass to Robert Johnson.

On to LSU.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Episode Up

The newest episode of Razorpod is posted here. The crew discusses the disappointment at Neyland, Houston Nutt's disinterested game plan, and why our defense can't line up onsides. Fun times.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

College Football Rivalries

The 2007 college football season is winding down, and that means that the traditional rivalry games will taking place over the final three weekends of the regular season. Ohio State and Michigan play this Saturday with yet another Big Ten Title and Rose Bowl berth at stake. Here are my favorite rivalries (also, let the Razorpod crew know what your favorite rivalries are in the comments section):

1. Auburn-Alabama

2. Oklahoma-Texas

3. Army-Navy

4. Michigan-Ohio State

5. Florida-Florida State

6. Alabama-Tennessee

7. Texas-Texas A&M


9. Notre Dame-USC

10. Ole Miss-Mississippi State

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Davis to Arkansas Rumors Not just in Arkansas

Rocky Top Horror Show

Arkansas' team plane found its way to Knoxville on Friday afternoon, and the team bus arrived at Neyland Stadium on Saturday morning. However, it's still not apparent if the Arkansas Razorbacks coaches and players ever arrived. Tennessee hammered the Hogs 34-13 on Saturday afternoon in front of nearly 105,000 fans. Darren McFadden did all he could while rushing for 117 yards, but with no passing game or Felix Jones for most of the game, it was nowhere near enough against a Tennessee defense that played inspired football. Arkansas fell behind 20-3 at halftime, and any hope for a comeback was dashed when Arian Foster ran for 59 yards to give Tennessee a 27-3 lead. Jerod Mayo put the finishing touches on the romp by returning an interception for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter.

The reasons for the loss were numerous: no semblance of a game plan, inept play calling, curious personnel moves, lack of emotion, undisciplined play, etc. A total all-around dud. Give credit to Tennessee for taking the gift that Arkansas gave them. It's hard to imagine that the Vols thought it would be so easy on Saturday afternoon against an Arkansas team that ran for 541 yards against South Carolina the previous week.

As Tennessee prepares for Vanderbilt and Kentucky with East division title hopes in their own hands, Arkansas will return to Little Rock this Saturday to face revitalized Mississippi State. The Bulldogs defeated Alabama 17-12 last Saturday and have now defeated the Crimson Tide, Auburn, and Kentucky to stand at 3-3 in SEC play. Yes, that's one game better than the Hogs. Arkansas then travels to Baton Rouge to face No. 1 LSU the day after Thanksgiving. Should Arkansas lose both games, they will find themselves home at bowl time and possibly, minus a head coach.

Such is life in the SEC. Two 6-3 teams took the field last Saturday in Knoxville. Now, one team has dreams of an SEC Championship and BCS bowl berth, while the other is staring at a lost season. It's not hard to guess which team is which.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Tennessee Preview Episode Posted

This week's Razorpod is posted here. We are "Logan-less" this week but that doesn't stop us from insightful analysis and a thorough trashing of South Carolina.

Will the Tennessee game be more of the same? Listen and find out.

But Wait, There's More...

Ok, there's a twist to this tiebreaker thing. Miss St. could actually be the key.

Assume a 3-way tie between LSU, Bama orAuburn, and Ark at 5-3. The round-robin (first 3-way tiebreaker) winds up 1-1.

The second tiebreaker is Division records. This is where it gets interesting.

Assume a 3 way tie involving LSU, Auburn, and Arkansas all at 5-3. This would mean that Alabama loses out to finish 4-4, and Auburn lost to Georgia but beat Bama.

Divisional records would still be tied at 3-2 for LSU, AU, and Ark.

So, on to the third tiebreaker, which I'll call for clarity purposes "your team's record against the 'Measuring Stick' team" (the team with best conf. record other than the tied teams). That team would be Bama . . . or Miss. State, assuming Miss. State wins every game left for them other than at Ark. But Miss St would have beaten Bama head-to-head, and therefore, the "Measuring Stick" team would be Miss. St.

Guess what the records are against Miss. State: LSU 1-0, AU 0-1, Ark. 1-0. AU is out, moves to two-way breaker, which is head to head, and . . .

wait for it . . .

Ark. wins, having beaten LSU head to head.

The crazyness isn't over yet:

Now, assume a three-way tie between LSU, Bama, and Ark. at 5-3. This would mean Auburn loses out and Bama loses to Miss St. but beats Auburn.

Round robin is even.

Divisional records are even at 3-2.

Once again, to the "Measuring Stick" tiebreaker...and again, the Measuring Stick is Miss. St. based upon their head-to-head win against Auburn.

LSU is 1-0, Bama is 0-1, Ark is 1-0, so Bama is out, and head to head between LSU-Ark = Ark to Atlanta.

Now, I'll be the first to acknowledge that the probabilities here are about twenty trillion to one. But, pending verifying research by the accounting firm of Ernst and Young, I think there is a slim mathematical possibility we can still go to the championship game.

Go MS State, beat Bama! (PW's DEEP, DEEP, sleeper pick, by the way).

The Razorbacks are Mathematically Eliminated From the SEC West Race (I Think, Anyway)

As I was sitting at my desk during a slow Wednesday, I started thinking about if the Hogs won out, would they still have a chance to go to Atlanta. After researching the tiebreakers, I think the LSU-Bama result from last weekend caused the Razorbacks to be mathematically eliminated from the West race.

Flow it out, with me, if you will...(warning, this exercise involves high-level mathematics and an understanding of SEC divisional tiebreakers, both of which are more complicated than nuclear physics...)

Right now, the standings are (with games left to play):

LSU 5-1 at Ole Miss, Ark
Auburn 4-2 at UGA, Bama
Bama 4-2 at MSST, at AU
Ark 2-3 at TN, MSST, at LSU
MSST 2-3 Bama, at Ark, Ole Miss
Ole Miss 0-6 LSU, MSST

Clearly, LSU is in the driver's seat, so this is probably moot. However, assuming the unthinkable happens and LSU loses to winless Ole Miss and to the Hogs at home, Auburn and Bama go 1-1 in remaining SEC games, and Arkansas wins out, the four teams would be tied at 5-3 in the league. Here are the SEC tiebreaker rules for three or more way ties in a division:

    (Once the tie has been reduced to two teams, go to the two-team tie-breaker format.)

  • Combined head-to-head record among the tied teams.

  • Record of the tied teams within the division.

  • Head-to-head competition vs. the team within the division with the best overall (divisional and non-divisional) Conference record and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken from first to last.

  • Overall record vs. non-division teams.

  • Combined record vs. all common non-divisional teams.

  • Record vs. common non-divisional team with the best overall Conference (divisional and non-divisional) record and proceeding through other common non-divisional teams based on their order of finish within their division.

  • The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC Championship Game.

1. Head-to-head competition between the two tied teams.

So, we have a four way tie. The first three way tiebreaker is "round-robin" record against the tied teams. In the scenario above, LSU would be 2-1, having already beaten Auburn and Bama, Arkansas would be 1-2, having already lost to Auburn and Bama, and either Auburn or Bama would be 2-1 depending on the outcome of their head-to-head.

Then, it would simply be a two-way tie between LSU and either Auburn or Bama, and head to head wins--LSU comes out ahead already having beaten both teams. LSU WINS.

Where it gets kind of interesting is if LSU loses out, Ark wins out, and either Bama or Auburn loses out. Then its a 3-way tie between LSU, Ark, and either Bama or Auburn.

1. Round-robin doesn't help-all 3 tied teams would be 1-1 against the others.
2. Division records would be 3-2 for all 3 teams
3. Here's where it gets really frickin' nutty. The third tie breaker is Head-to Head against divisional team with best conference record after the tied teams. That team would be either Bama or Auburn, at 4-4. LSU would be 1-0, AU/Bama would be 1-0, and Ark would be out having lost to both.
4. Then it reverts to the two team tie breaker, and LSU wins against either AU/Bama. LSU WINS.

So, yes, Arkansas is mathematically eliminated from the West race. But it sure took more cipherin' to get there than I thought it would.

Other interesting points:

LSU holds mucho tiebreakers after beating Bama. Any tie goes LSU's way. The ONLY way LSU doesn't end up in ATL is if it loses out (finishing 5-3) and either AU or Bama wins out to finish 6-2.

The 10-peso version: if LSU beats Ole Miss this weekend, they win the West.

The Latest From CFN

Their panel of experts picks the Hogs 30-27, with (surprise) Darren McFadden and Felix Jones having huge days.

Also, kudos to Arkansas' offensive line, ranked by CFN as the second best in the nation. The best? Yep. Tennessee, bolstered by the fact that Ainge has been sacked only 3 times all season. Don't look for that to change much this weekend, what with our "blitz directly into our own defensive tackle's back" pass rush and the fact that Tennessee uses a ton of three and five step drops. Our defensive backs are going to have to make some plays and tackle well.

Razorpod Game Predictions

The crew's national picks for the 2nd Saturday in November:

Patrick Williams (26-34): Kansas, Cal, Auburn, S. Carolina, Arkansas, Illinois

Johnny Fayetteville (32-28): Kansas, USC, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Florida State

Tom Logan (37-23): Kansas, USC, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Wake Forest

Jimmy G (34-26): Oklahoma State, USC, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Rice

Monday, November 05, 2007

Arkansas 48 South Carolina 36

Arkansas defeated South Carolina at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on Saturday night in front of 70,000+ fans including two Razorpod crew members. Darren McFadden and Felix Jones stole the show with 323 and 163 rushing yards, respectively. Read ARSN's game recap right here: