College Football: LSU and Arkansas Collide on Black Friday

Al Dannity | Updated Nov 22, 2011

It’s #1 vs. #3 in the BCS standings in Death Valley as the Razorbacks battle LSU. On a day best known for shopping, sports betting is taking center stage. The Tigers once again have bettors wondering just what to make of them. Al Dannity has the answer.

The Tigers’ offense is back After a defensive war with Alabama and a stuttering display against Western Kentucky, the Tigers’s offense had a return to form on Saturday. That beat-down of Ole Miss was crucial to this unit’s confidence in the late-season. The risk of a let-down, even at 11-0, never goes away. With LSU’s defense dominating on all fronts, the performance of the offense has, at times, avoided scrutiny. We all know there are limitations, particularly in the passing game, but this unit performs a crucial role. The ground game wears down the will of opponents, keeping the defense off the field and fresh for battle. The success of LSU’s rushing attack will be vital on Friday as they defense will be dealing with an air raid.

A big step up Tyler Wilson has excelled this year, with 21 touchdowns against just 5 interceptions, but mostly against limited competition. In his sole test against a big time defense, the road game at Alabama, Wilson could only average 5.3 yards per pass. The Arkansas quarterback is about to face an even better secondary than the one that toyed with him in Tuscaloosa. In order for the Hogs to succeed, Wilson will have to make the likes of Tyrann Mathieu look ordinary. That’s a huge ask as the Honey Badger has tormented quarterbacks across the SEC all season long.

The verdict If I’m a SEC coach I want to be scheduled for the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2012. Last year, in the Iron Bowl, Auburn beat Alabama to book their place in the BCS title game. This year it will be LSU’s turn to secure a shot at the National Championship. The Tigers’ offense does not need to be elite in order to win this game. They merely need to get back to the levels from prior to the Alabama game to come out on top. The Hogs have faced one elite defense so far this year and they wilted badly. They are about to take on an even better one. I like the LSU Tigers to end the SEC West debate on Friday by beating Hogs in Baton Rouge.