First thought: Wow.
Second thought: It might still be a bit of a long shot (more on that in a minute), but make no mistake about it, the Hogs are in the thick of the BCS championship conversation. As everyone reading this post surely knows, a combination of the Razorbacks peaking at the best possible time and all non-SEC West contenders imploding almost simultaneously has Arkansas sniffing some seriously rarefied air.
A third thought, for good measure: Wow.
Of course, all the fun possibilities are rendered completely moot if Arkansas can't march into Baton Rouge and do what no one else has done this season: beat LSU. Make no mistake...the Tigers are a very, very, very good team and absolutely deserve that #1 ranking. Their defense is flat-out scary, their offense and special teams are full of playmakers, and Les Miles does bring a certain voodoo when he's eating the grass at Tiger Stadium.
The Hogs have beaten LSU three out of the last four years (notably, the 2007 game in Baton Rouge when the Tigers were also #1). Based on recent history, one would at least expect a close game, and it's been well-proven that almost anything can happen when these two teams are facing off late in the 4th quarter. So, it's a long shot but this year's Hog team has certainly proven they have enough talent and heart to give us some legitimate hope.
Naturally, Vegas disagrees and opened the betting lines with the Tigers as a solid two touchdown favorite. Stuart Mandel doesn't mince words, noting that this is because the oddsmakers (and, we suspect, many others across the US) don't see Arkansas as a legit #3 team. Seems like the perfect setup for Tyler Wilson & Co to go out and prove the experts wrong to me.