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The first College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday night and the usual weeping and gnashing of teeth began over who should and shouldn’t be amongst the top four.
What I’m sure the playoff committee didn’t anticipate was the backlash to Mississippi State being ranked 17th.
The Bulldogs (5-3, 3-2 SEC) are a solid team.
It can be argued that they could be 7-1, had some officiating gone their way in the Memphis game and if they would’ve not sleepwalked against LSU most of the day in Starkville on Sept. 25.
But, like Bill Parcells used to say, ‘you are what your record says you are.’
Arkansas hasn’t beaten a league opponent since Sept. 25, when it took down Texas A&M in Arlington.
A team that was once ranked 8th slid out of the polls completely.
With a win Saturday, the Razorbacks could regain some of that mojo they had during that 4-0 start. Voters and the committee would say, maybe some rest and relaxation was all this team needed.
Games against LSU and Alabama don’t feel as daunting with a victory under your belt.
Bowl eligibility would be secured. Going 3-1 in the final four games for a 8-4 overall record would be the best finish since Bobby Petrino’s team went 10-2 in 2011 and won the Cotton Bowl to finish with 11 victories, the most since 1977.
I’m not sure where Arkansas would jump to in the polls with a win. Logic says probably somewhere between 19-23.
What a win would do for the psyche of the team, however, is what really matters.