The Arkansas vs. Auburn game is going to be huge not just in the 2010 SEC standings, but in the national championship picture for this season. Both Auburn and Arkansas are in the SEC West, meaning that only one of these two teams has a shot at playing in the 2010 SEC Championship this fall. The winner of that game gets an automatic placement into one of the BCS bowl games, but more importantly, has the best shot for an SEC team to make it into the championship game. Right now the SEC is on the outside of the picture, but several teams could get right back into it.
The 2010 college football season has a long way to go, and we are just now approaching the halfway point of the regular season. What that means is several schools that are on the outside of the title picture could play themselves back into it if other schools start to post their first losses of the 2010 season. There are still quite a few undefeated teams in the college football landscape, but with so many rivalry games, conference match-ups, and key games between undefeated teams left on the schedule, the way could still be cleared for a one-loss team to make the title game. At least that is what Arkansas is hoping.
Arkansas only has one loss this year, coming from Alabama in a tight game that could have honestly gone either way if a few plays had gone differently. Arkansas is also sporting one of the best quarterbacks in NCAA football with Ryan Mallett (1,748 yards and 13 touchdowns in just five games), and he could lead this Arkansas team to 400 yards on any given night. It is something that Auburn has to be really worried about, and an asset that could potentially push Arkansas into the 2010 SEC Championship Game if they can keep playing up to their talent level.
Then there are the Auburn Tigers, a team that is finally getting some respect in the college football rankings. They are up to the No. 7 spot in the AP Top 25, and have wins over Clemson and South Carolina already this year. They have a really tough schedule ahead of them with Arkansas, LSU, and Alabama on the docket, so they need to start off that run with a win on Saturday against Arkansas. Auburn has a shot at really moving up the polls these next two weeks, and that could push them through the backdoor into the title game. It all starts Saturday, though, with a must-win game against Arkansas at 12:30 p.m. PT (3:30 p.m. ET).