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NCAA football preview: LSU vs. Arkansas

For the first time in BCS history, three teams from one conference are the Top 3 clubs in the BCS standings and not only that but all three are from the SEC West. Thus the result of Friday afternoon’s Arkansas-LSU game could help clear up who represents the West in the SEC title game as well as the national championship picture. But that’s only if LSU wins. If the Hogs pull the upset, it’s chaos. LSU is a 12-point college football bets favorite on WagerWeb.com.

Here’s the most simple scenario: LSU wins and will be the SEC West champion, to face a surging Georgia team next week in Atlanta for the SEC title. If the Hogs win, they would win the SEC West but only if Alabama loses to Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday. If the Hogs and Tide win, the two highest-rated teams in Sunday’s BCS standings would then have a head-to-head tiebreaker to determine the SEC West champ. Of course LSU already beat Alabama earlier this year.

Even if LSU loses here, it still seems likely to play in the national title game even if it doesn’t play in the SEC title game. The Razorbacks almost certainly have to win this week and next to have any shot at the national title. Alabama also could play in the national title game even if it also sits out the SEC title game. It’s an utter mess.

LSU’ starting quarterback now is no doubt Jordan Jefferson. Last week, Jefferson, the starter since late in the 2008 season when he beat out Jarrett Lee, completed 7 of 7 passes for 88 yards with a 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Russell Shepard for a 21-0 first quarter lead over Ole Miss. He rushed six times for 29 yards before calling it a night early in the third quarter with the Tigers up 42-3 over the Rebels. Lee, who started LSU’s first nine games and helped lead the Tigers to a 9-0 start by leading the SEC in passing efficiency for most of the season, played in the second quarter and alternated series with Jefferson into the third quarter. He passed only once, though.

The Hogs have no QB issues as Tyler Wilson is the SEC’s top quarterback. Wilson is the second Razorback in school history to pass for 3,000 yards in a season. He has thrown for 3,215 yards in 2011, the third-highest single-season total in UA history, to lead the SEC and rank 12th in the NCAA. He leads the SEC and ranks 11th in the NCAA with his average of 292.3 passing yards per game, and his 291.9 yards of total offense per game tops the conference and ranks 17th in the country. Wilson’s 21 passing touchdowns rank as the fourth-highest single-season total in UA history and are second in the SEC in 2011. The Hogs have the SEC’s No. 1 scoring offense.

Arkansas has won seven games in a row, the longest winning streak under head coach Bobby Petrino, after defeating Mississippi State 44-17 in Little Rock last week. Friday’s game marks the fourth top-five matchup in school history, and the first since 1970. UA has four wins in 17 games all-time against the No. 1 team in the country. The Razorbacks’ last win over the No. 1 team was a 50-48 defeat of top-ranked LSU in Baton Rouge on Nov. 23, 2007, which is also the last time the AP No. 1 team lost on its home field. Overall, the Hogs have won three of the past four over LSU.

LSU goes after the school’s first 12-0 start on Friday. The game will feature the highest-ranked teams in Tiger Stadium since 1959 when No. 1 LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss, 7-3, on Halloween Night. LSU is 21-3 all-time in games played as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team, which includes a 9-2 mark under Les Miles. LSU brings one of the top defenses in the nation into the Arkansas game as the Tigers are ranked in the top 5 nationally in five major categories – total defense (No. 2 at 247.91), scoring defense (No. 2 at 10.0), pass efficiency defense (No. 2 at 92.33 rating), rush defense (No. 3 at 89.64) and pass defense (No. 5 at 158.27).

SA Summary:  The Razorbacks are the darling pick for the vegas experts this weekend to cover the spread. Free Pick: Arkansas +12

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Friday, November 25th, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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