BATON ROUGE, La. — Over the last decade, the LSU-Arkansas rivalry has been much more competitive than the overall series record lets on.
Out of 61 overall meetings, LSU has won 37 to Arkansas’ 22 (with two ties), but in the last 10 years, the Tigers and Razorbacks have split, with five wins apiece. Between 2005 and 2013, the rivalry was particularly intense, with eight of the nine meetings being decided by eight points or fewer.
So today, with the next incarnation of the “Golden Boot” rivalry just a day away, let’s take a look back at LSU’s last five wins over Arkansas. And, just for fun, let’s rank them:
No. 5: 2012 — LSU wins 20-13
It might’ve been a down year for Arkansas, but a win over a rival is a win, especially when it involves holding off a late comeback and a sweet one-handed catch.
No. 4: 2006 — LSU wins 31-26
No. 9 LSU visited Fayetteville to face No. 5 Arkansas, hoping to play its way into the BCS. LSU wouldn’t let that happen. Despite a 182-yard rushing day from Darren McFadden, JaMarcus Russell and the Tigers held off the Razorbacks and sunk their title hopes.
No. 3: 2013 — LSU wins 31-27
In what has almost certainly gone down as the “Anthony Jennings game,” Jennings came in for an injured Zach Mettenberger and led a fourth-quarter comeback, hitting Travin Dural for a 49-yard touchdown with 75 seconds left to win it.
No. 2: 2011 — LSU wins 41-17
The only blowout in the bunch, the 2011 meeting between the two schools pitted No. 1 against No. 3 and didn’t disappoint. If you’re an LSU fan, that is. Arkansas jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but Tyrann Mathieu galvanized an LSU comeback with a 92-yard punt return for a touchdown, sparking what ended up being a 41-3 run to end the game.
No. 1: 2009 — LSU wins 33-30 (OT)
Overtime games are always more fun. After allowing Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett to lead a comeback with less than two minutes remaining, LSU calmly stormed back down the field to tie it and send it to overtime, where the Tigers won on a game-winning kick by Josh Jasper. The win snapped LSU’s first two-game losing streak to Arkansas since the early ’90s.
If you’re an LSU fan, this game has to be the model for what you want to happen this weekend.
In Bayou Bengal Briefing on Thursday, I asked you guys what you thought LSU’s record would be if it played in the SEC East. Here are your rather confident answers.
Nearly two-thirds of you (63 percent) responded that you believe LSU would be undefeated if it had to play Missouri’s schedule, one that involves games against West Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee instead of Wisconsin, Auburn and Alabama.
Thirty percent of you said you think LSU would be a one-loss team, which is still probably enough to be in the College Football Playoff discussion. Five percent of you believe the Tigers would have two losses and one voter bravely said he doesn’t think anything would be different and the Tigers would still be mediocre.
If this reality is the case, I’m looking into a head coaching job in the SEC East as soon as one opens up if I’m Les Miles.
Four Friday feelings
We’re all humans here. Humans have feelings. Here are four feelings that I think LSU players might be feeling in advance of tomorrow’s game:
Danny Etling is feeling … better
Etling took an absolute pounding last week. If we did Monday feelings, I probably would’ve predicted he was feeling sore. But time heals. And Etling is better now. The hope is that Alabama didn’t give him a football-induced version of PTSD, better known as “the yips.” He should be fine.
LSU’s offensive line is feeling … motivated
For the offensive line, it’s been six straight days of nothing but answering questions about what went wrong. Now, it’s time to prove it was just a fluke. If there’s ever been a game to show the run-blocking skill the unit had showcased all season, it’d be this one. Arkansas has allowed nearly 200 rushing yards per game this season.
Leonard Fournette is feeling … ridden with deja vu
Last week, I compared Fournette to The Bride from Kill Bill. This week, I compare him to Phil Connors from Groundhog Day. Because there is significant evidence to the theory that Fournette is stuck in a temporal paradox. Come into Alabama hot. Get stuffed by Alabama. Learn piano. Befriend the mayor. Play Arkansas the next week. Same old song and dance. Fournette better hope he can snap out of it, or else it’s another year of waking up to “I Got You, Babe.”
LSU’s defense is feeling … a weird amount of pressure
If you can shut out Alabama for three quarters, you better not blow it against Arkansas. It’s obviously a false equivalence, but this defense just proved it can hang with the best in the country. This isn’t the week for regression, especially with the offense reeling. Hence the pressure.
What should I do with my life?
For the first time in the Ed Orgeron era, the LSU Tigers are set to hit the road this weekend. That means there isn’t an LSU home football game to go to. Sounds like you guys need plans.
Here are some suggestions:
- Do you have an idea that’ll make you a millionaire? Well, it’s startup weekend in Baton Rouge. Come bounce your ideas off people and learn about entrepreneurship. And when you’re rich, cut me in on some of your profits for inspiring you.
- If you’re in the New Iberia area and like eating food out of motor vehicles, there’s a food truck festival and now I’m super jealous that I’m not in the New Iberia area.
- There’s a dog show out in Livingston just off of I-12. Dogs are cool.
- Theatre Baton Rouge is putting on a showing of Peter and the Starcatcher, if that sort of thing is your bag.
- A DJ who has a number in his name and sounds like the kind of person who cool people listen to is playing at City Bar. I’ve never heard of him, but maybe you have.
- For a full list of what’s happening in Baton Rouge and the surrounding area, check out this calendar courtesy of The Advocate.
And then, there’s LSU sports that aren’t football.
Well, wasn’t that a segue?
The LSU men’s basketball team officially launches its 2016-17 season this Saturday with a season-opening affair against Wofford. It’ll be at the Pete Maravich Athletic Center and first tip is scheduled for 1 p.m.
But that isn’t the only thing happening in LSU sports this weekend. Here’s your Friday nonrevenue sports update:
- The women’s tennis team kicks off the LSU Fall Classic Friday and it’ll run through Sunday. Princeton, Rice and Tulane will also be in the field.
- The men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for NCAA regionals. The teams finished in 11th and 12th, respectively, in the SEC championships last month.
- The women’s basketball team kicks off its season Friday night in Ruston, La., against Louisiana Tech.
- The indoor volleyball team hosts Georgia, the only SEC team with a worse conference record than the Tigers, at the PMAC on Friday night.
- The beach volleyball team is headed to Emerson, Ga., to compete in the Collegiate Beach Bash.
- The women’s basketball team and the indoor volleyball team round out the weekend with second events Sunday at home. Volleyball will host Mississippi State and basketball hosts Wake Forest.
Speaking of basketball …
The NBA season is in full swing and there are a couple of former LSU basketball players entrenched in the action. Here’s a quick update, in chart form, of what these guys have been up to through the first month of the season:
|Player||Minutes Per Game||Points Per Game||Assists Per Game||Rebounds Per Game||Player Efficiency Rating|
|Brandon Bass (LAC)||8.5||4.8||0.3||1.8||23.2|
|Justin Hamilton (BKN)||23.6||9.8||1.0||5.5||17.7|
|Jarell Martin (MEM)||16.0||6.0||0.1||3.4||10.3|
|Jordan Mickey (BOS)||10.0||3.0||0.4||1.4||7.7|
|Garrett Temple (SAC)||19.9||6.3||2.1||2.1||14.0|
|Marcus Thornton (WAS)||19.4||8.3||1.3||2.9||12.7|
|Tim Quarterman (POR)***||6.0||4.0||0.0||1.0||35.2|
***Quarterman has only played in one game this season.
If you’re going to be in Fayetteville on Saturday, pack mittens.
According to the most-recent forecasts on weather.com, the temperature Saturday night could dip as low as 33 degrees. Which is the most taunting temperature in the Fahrenheit scale. It’s blistering enough to make you feel like you’re freezing, but not actually cold enough to freeze anything.
Frankly, it’s a little unfair. If it’s going to drop that low on the thermometer, you should at least get some snow out of it, right?
Actually, I don’t know. I’m not from Baton Rouge, so I’ve seen snow more than twice in my lifetime and know how to react. Maybe it wouldn’t be wise to throw a bunch of bayou folk into a series of flurries. But I think it sounds fun.
But anyway, it’s probably not going to happen. If you’re like me, though, we can dream. Together.