When, several weeks ago, the scenarios required for Arkansas to make a BCS bowl began appearing, they seemed almost too far-fetched to invest much hope in: the Hogs had to beat three ranked teams (two of those games on the road), mighty Alabama had to lose twice and Auburn had to win out. And yet, here we are...heading to the Sugar Bowl to defend the SEC's honor against perennial conference punching bag Ohio State.
Make no mistake about it - this is a huge step forward for the program. After years of fans fervently hoping for a breakthrough that would usher the Razorback into the top tier of the SEC, it's finally happened. And, although nothing is certain, they seem poised to make a nice stay there: rather than hoping to occasionally play above their level and knock off a highly-ranked team, they now expect to win every game. Big victories are beginning to feel more like a tough team taking care of business than glorious, out-of-the-blue miracles.
We'll have much more to say about all that (and the actual game against Ohio State) in the coming weeks, but for now let's take a breath and savor how far we've come in just two years. Very, very impressive.
And, of course, none of this would have been possible without a big win today by our frenemies over at Auburn. Special thanks are due to Cam Newton, Gus Malzahn, Gene Chizik's sideburns groomer, the mysterious booster who kindly donated the money to help rebuild Cecil Newton's church, the NCAA compliance investigators and all the other Tigers out there who contributed.
Woo Pig Sooie!