Don’t lie to yourself. Playing ’em “one game at a time” is the best approach. But the only people who actually do that are the players and coaches.
Sometimes fans will get upset with media members for looking ahead. “Who cares We gotta beat so-and-so first.” Who is the “we” in that sentence? The players and coaches have to beat so-and-so first. Me and you? We don’t have to beat, or even do, anything or anyone. Nevermind the fact that the College Football Playoff rankings begin being released with several weeks remaining in the season and that preseason All-Something teams exist.
So of course it’s worth looking ahead. In this case, just to Sunday.
Arkansas and Texas A&M renew their Southwest Classic rivalry on Saturday inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The Razorbacks, of course, snapped a nine-game skid last year with a 20-10 win over A&M. The next day, Arkansas was ranked No. 8 in the country, their highest slotting in a decade.
This year Arkansas is already knocking on that door. Coach Sam Pittman has his team as the 10th-ranked in the nation. Considering the Aggies are favored in the game and still carry more national attention, it’s easy to imagine an Arkansas win boosting the Razorbacks into the single-digit territory when it comes ranking.
At that point, anything goes. Arkansas received whispers about playing spoiler last year after the A&M game. It was quickly shot down when Georgia toyed with Arkansas like a cat with yarn the next week. The Bulldogs won the national title just over three months later.
Coincidence is that the Razorbacks get Alabama the week after A&M this year. The Crimson Tide are just as highly thought of as ol’ UGA. The difference, though, is Arkansas gets Bama at home and the Tide have already shown some weakness this year.
So, yes, you’ll have to pardon us for looking ahead. A win over Texas A&M on Saturday would do wonders for the Razorbacks and their plans.