TV Schedule: Friday, November 27, 2:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Ark.
Line: ARK (-13.5)
In true Razorback fashion (at least recently), this has been a wild season for Arkansas. The Hogs started the season ranked No. 18 in the AP Poll and with hopes of building off the momentum of their defeat of Texas in the Texas Bowl (31-7).
But the Razorbacks followed up an easy Week 1 win over UTEP with a loss to an unranked Toledo by four points. While it wasn’t technically a home game since it was played in Little Rock, it might as well have been for senior QB Brandon Allen and third-year coach Bret Bielema since the Hogs frequently play in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium.
Loyal Hog fans barely had time to call the stunning loss a fluke before Arkansas lost to Texas Tech in Fayetteville. Not as shocking, the Razorbacks then lost the next week to a No. 14-ranked Texas A&M but at least managed to force OT.
After beating SEC East rival Tennessee, the Hogs lost to Alabama then beat Auburn in a four-OT thriller. The early losses seemed to be fueling the fire of a comeback because the Hogs proceeded to pull off two monster upsets in a row against two previous playoff contenders.
Arkansas beat a No. 19-ranked Ole Miss in one of the most exciting games of the season. The Razorbacks sent the game to OT on the heels of a crazy lateral play full of a lot of dumb luck and a little bit of skill then went for the two-point conversion after scoring a TD in OT to top the Rebels 53-52.
The Hogs followed up that stunning win with a thrashing of No. 9-ranked LSU 34-17 in Death Valley, handing the Tigers only their second loss of the season at the time. Despite suffering a heartbreaking loss to Mississippi State last week (a blocked field goal that would have won the game for Arkansas), Allen and the Razorbacks are ready to bounce back and defeat Missouri.
It shouldn’t be too hard since the Tigers have only won one conference game this season, a 24-10 victory over South Carolina. Missouri followed up that win by failing to score a touchdown the next three weeks. However, the Tigers are more motivated to win than ever after the recent announcement of head coach Gary Pinkel’s intent to retire at the end of the season. Pinkel has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and has elected to spend his remaining years with his family and friends.
Since this is the last regular season game for Missouri, the Tigers will be emotional and motivated, hoping to win the last game with Pinkel on the sidelines.
Emotion aside, the Tigers will have to find a way to stop Allen who is coming off a week in which he threw for seven TDs and 406 yards.
Prediction: Arkansas 31, Missouri 10