Friday, November 23

The LSU/Arkansas Live After-the-Game-Is-Over Report

So I’m doing something today I haven’t in all earnest done since I watched the Texas/Kansas basketball game last March. I’m doing a chronicled liveblog of the LSU/Arkansas game today for a couple of reasons:

1 – McFadden still interests me. I don’t know how or why he got stuffed by the Tennessee defense a couple of weeks ago (Mississippi State made more sense to me), but he did have a ridiculous game against South Carolina three weeks ago. LSU’s defense compares favorably to all those defenses listed, but this is McFadden’s last shot at Heisman glory.

2 – It’s kind of a rivalry game. Granted, this is kind of rivalry game that’s closer to Minnesota/Wisconsin than Alabama/Auburn in history and ill will between the two teams, but if there’s a trophy, then by God it’s a rivalry game, right? In all seriousness, LSU/Arkansas is kind of a forced rivalry; Ole Miss/Mississippi State and Alabama/Auburn have history (if not a history of excellence in the first matchup listed), but LSU and Arkansas are the other teams in the division, so …sure, they’re a rivalry. I guess.

In all seriousness, LSU is plagued with not having a nearby school that’s a practical rival. Tulane has a rivalry with LSU, but that’s more like Tennessee/Vandy (or, realistically, Tennessee/Memphis) where one school loathes the other but it’s not returned – simply because the hated school couldn’t give two shits about the other school in the rivalry. LSU/Florida is showing some good early returns (good play, hard-fought games and wins), but Florida has Florida State as their primary rival with Tennessee at worst a close second. That would knock LSU down to 3rd on the rival totem pole with UF, and there’s not a lot of room to move up anytime soon.

Arkansas got screwed by a conference change. The Alabama/Arkansas games have been very well-played over the last couple of seasons, but there’s that whole Iron Bowl thing, so the Razorbacks are sitting at best second there. (Realistically, they’re third behind Tennessee.) They had an excellent, but old, rivalry with Texas that hasn’t really happened since the old Southwest Conference days and the old Cotton Bowl games back in the ‘60’s. Short of that, Arkansas doesn’t really play anyone else often enough to develop a real rivalry – and considering the South Carolina “rivalry” game they play every year is less a function of history and more a function of “these guys joined the league at the same time” – there’s not really another conference team that Arkansas could form a rivalry with.

The game today won’t be confused with a real rivalry; there’s not enough bad blood yet for that to happen. However, it should be at worst a close contest. Unlike last week when I was posting about 1,200 updates, I don’t have continual access today so I can’t get away with that. I’ll just do one complete update sometime after the game is over.