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Don’t Expect a Close Game Against Auburn

The series between Arkansas and Auburn has been an even one where record is concerned, but not on the scoreboard.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

I’m sure you’re filled with nervous anticipation ahead of tomorrow’s game against Auburn. I know I am. While discussing the game with some friends this morning though, we observed a strange quirk in this series, that goes back 20 years. This series is a close one... but not really. You see, the last 20 games have been a tossup, with the series record at 9 wins for the good guys, and 11 wins for the bad guys. Pretty even, right? Well, that’s where the evenness stops. This game tends to be a blowout, one way or the other. Look at the past 20 years worth of data:

Arkansas-Auburn is split 9-11 over the last 20 meetings. Pretty even, right? Well each victory has come with a margin of victory average of 20. This series is rarely close.

Going back 20 years, from old to new, here are the results:

1999: Arkansas wins by 24

2000: Auburn wins by 2

2001: Arkansas wins by 25

2002: Arkansas wins by 21

2003: Auburn wins by 7

2004: Auburn wins by 28

2005: Auburn wins by 17

2006: Arkansas wins by 17

2007: Auburn wins by 2

2008: Arkansas wins by 3

2009: Arkansas wins by 21

2010: Auburn wins by 22

2011: Arkansas wins by 24

2012: Arkansas wins by 17

2013: Auburn wins by 18

2014: Auburn wins by 24

2015: Arkansas wins by 8

2016: Auburn wins by 53

2017: Auburn wins by 32

2018: Auburn wins by 31

As you can see, this series is rarely close in the actual game, despite what the 9-11 record would have you believe. It’s worth noting that our struggles in the last three years have really put a damper on our point differential— it’s gone from +40 to -76. According to our stat guy: “Yikes.”

It’s an interesting little tidbit that reflects the sometimes personal nature of this game. We’ve done enough damage to warrant a “curse” as you can read in a great piece by Auburn’s SB Nation Blog, College and Magnolia. Read that article up till 2016. As that piece observes, we’ve dashed SEC hopes of Auburn before, and they’ve steamrolled us on other hopeful occasions. Tommy Tuberville was from Arkansas. Gus has coached on both sidelines. There’s always been flirtation with hiring each others’ coaches. It’s a weird little series, as I would consider Auburn an SEC blue blood and us, well not so much.

With all that said, it should not be a surprise if they shellack us. It’s the history of the series that dictates this. But something else that stands out is the fact that sometimes we can ruin SEC hopes for a much stronger foe. Not saying we’ll win. Just saying stranger things have happened before. I’m not bold enough to make a prediction though. Check out Adam Ford’s Stats Study for an educated guess.

Happy Friday, Hog Fans!

Thanks for reading this article. Remember to please sign up for our SB Nation poll, subscribe to Wooo Pod Sooie on your podcast platform of choice, and follow @ArkansasFight on Twitter. For other depressed Arkansas opinions and hopefully more joke-bits, follow @TuckerPartridge.