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Arkansas-LSU: Of Outliers, Rivals and Another Wild Finish?

Expect a good one, maybe even another weird finish.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Saturday's miracle finish in Oxford chiseled into Razorback lore as perhaps our wildest finish ever, we turn our attention to Baton Rouge and a game many thought might even be more winnable than Ole Miss.

Suddenly, a November that looked break-even at best finds us in the black (bear) after that glorious, dramatic, last second pin. (If you're of a mind, revisit AF's brilliant post-game coverage from Doc and BVC. AF readers, we have it pretty good.)

That one will live on in glorious ecstasy...or infamy, depending on which side of the big river you call home. And it's all Hogs and roses on God's side, where Saturday's game will take its place alongside the Miracles on Markham in the Razorback canon.

Its immediate impact could be felt this week, as we pack up the Boot and again head south for what should be another entertaining entry in the SEC's most underrated rivalry. LSU fans like to turn up their nose at any suggestion of a rivalry, as if they were anything pre-Saban, and it's true that as SEC outliers still, our fan base places more emphasis on the game.

We've got "rivals" — LSU, A&M, Ole Miss and perhaps soon Misery. But no rival. The way the LSU series is going, though, don't be surprised to see the ante upped on the Tigers' side.

Battle for the Boot 19 will feature teams on opposing trajectories, and the Hogs should continue to click on offense. LSU's defense may be the second best we'll see all year, but it's not Bama. And we're not the same offense that took the field in Tuscaloosa. BA now stands for Beast Arm. (How satisfying it is to see how things are playing out for him. He so deserves it.)

Then there's the defense. While we followed a bad night against Texas Tech with a solid effort against A&M, a couple of late breakdowns notwithstanding, these last three weeks have been brutal from a cosmetic defensive standpoint.

I suspect the defense will enjoy the more traditional "American" approach taken by LSU to moving the ball, and after all, our 'backers when good are good against the run. While it's hard to imagine No. 7 for the Tigers being bottled up two weeks in a row, I don't expect him to run roughshod either.

LSU has proven itself capable of going over the top, but we stand a much better chance if we can slow the run game. A monster game from Fournette doesn't bode well for us. Then again, after watching BA and crew torch the vaunted Landsharks for 600 yards, who knows? I pity the corner tasked with covering Drew Morgan.

Part of what makes Arkansas-LSU so good is the "throw-out-the-records" aspect to the series. Regardless of whether blood boils at the mention of the other side, a rivalry must contain that component. One team can be top-ranked and the other limping to the finish line with an interim coach, and crazy things still happen.

I still fume over the lost second of the 2012 John L. edition in which we should've had one more shot into the end zone. (Home clock operators are supposed to be more reliable, amirite?)

I expect nothing short of another classic. The Ole Miss game, allegiances and even the OT aside, was simply an entertaining game from start to finish. The only blemish was our tackling. This one could play out in similar fashion.

Don't think it'll end in a 45-all regulation tie, but I expect Saturday night to make its own contributions to the crazy legacy of this series, and maybe even to the Twilight Zone-like existence of Razorback football the last decade or so.

Frankly, not sure anything will surprise me.