Lose to Hugh Freeze and Liberty? That would be a disaster for Arkansas on multiple fronts

College football is a strange game. Rather, the way people think about it is strange, anyway.

Arkansas, an SEC team that has long been in the middle pack of the league (sometimes high, oftentimes low) is not ranked heading into Week 10 of the 2022 season. Deservedly. The Razorbacks are a bubble team for the Top 25. Good enough to get some consideration, but lacking the results to be concrete. At 5-3 and 1-3 in league play, that placing is deserved.

The Razorbacks host Liberty on Saturday in Fayetteville for homecoming. The Flames are a college football Independent, they have no conference. The program only joined the FBS ranks in 2018. They are coached by Hugh Freeze, formerly of SEC’s own Ole Miss, and are loaded with former major-conference players from the transfer portal. Freeze has led the team to a 7-1 record and a No. 23 ranking heading into the final quarter of the year.

Arkansas is a two-touchdown favorite. Give or take.

Not sure how that works. Las Vegas and the people who make the odds are not the same as the folks who vote on the Top 25 or create the College Football Playoff standings, certainly. But the discrepancy between two similarly-considered teams on paper versus what the prognosticators think will be the reality usually isn’t that stark.

An Arkansas loss, then, would be all the more a signal of doom. Losing to a team at home against whom you were favored by two touchdowns? Unacceptable on the best days. When it would put the Razorbacks into a tight spot as it relates to bowl-eligibility, watch out.

The reality is Arkansas needs the win in the worst way. Liberty? Nah. The Flames have nothing to lose.

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Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire