LSU's SEC West and College Football Playoff hopes took a hit in Saturday's loss to Alabama but things aren't over if the Tigers can win out against the Razorbacks and get help.
Razorbacks Rolling Offensively
Arkansas (5-4, 3-2) would get bowl eligible with a win. The Razorbacks are clearly playing their best football of the season on a three-game winning streak and scoring at least 53 points in each of those. Surely by now you have seen how Saturday's 53-52 overtime win at No. 18 Ole Miss shook out. The Razorbacks kept the game alive in the first OT on a crazy lateral play on fourth-and-25 as Hunter Henry basically threw the ball blindly over his shoulder after he caught a Brandon Allen pass and was about to get tackled. Somehow, the bouncing ball found Hogs running back Alex Collins and he gained 31 yards on the play -- Collins fumbled at the end but it was recovered by a teammate.
Allen would hit Drew Morgan on a 9-yard touchdown pass following Collins' play to get the score to 52-51. Coach Bret Bielema opted to go for 2 points and the win and Allen ran it in. Just a crazy game. Allen set career highs by throwing for 442 yards and six touchdowns (that's a school record). He was deservedly named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week. Allen now owns the top two passing yardage performances in the SEC this season and is just the second player in Arkansas history with two 400-yard passing games in the same season. In Arkansas’ last 10 quarters and five overtime periods (Hogs beat Auburn 54-46 in four OTs on Oct. 24), Allen is 59-for-81 for 825 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. Arkansas hasn’t had a three-and-out in its last 23 possessions with Allen under center.
The senior has thrown for 2,476 yards, 21 touchdowns and five picks this season. He is one of six FBS quarterbacks with 20-plus touchdowns and five or fewer interceptions. Allen is now third in school history with 55 career TD passes, seven from Ryan Mallett's record of 62.
The Razorbacks' win over the Rebels did a big favor for Alabama as the Tide now control their destiny to win the SEC West; they would have lost a head-to-head tiebreaker with Ole Miss. Arkansas is 5-4 against the spread on college football odds and 4-5 'over/under.'
Tigers Now Need Help For SEC West Title
LSU (7-1, 4-1) was No. 2 in the first College Football Playoff Rankings and No. 4 in last week's Associated Press poll. The new CFP rankings are Tuesday night and the Tigers will drop there as they did to No. 9 in the new AP poll, after being physically dominated in Saturday's 30-16 loss at Alabama.
Tigers running back Leonard Fournette had been the heavy Heisman Trophy betting favorite for weeks, but is now the second-favorite behind the Tide's Derrick Henry as Henry had a huge game in the win and Fournette managed only 31 yards on 19 carries. QB Brandon Harris wasn't good, either, completing just 6-for-19 for 128 yards with a TD and pick. Harris was just 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) on throws of shorter than 15 yards downfield. That is the second-worst completion percentage on such throws in a game for any Power 5 quarterback this season with a minimum of 10 attempts.
The Tigers were held to 182 total yards and 12 first downs. After breaking a tie game with a 55-yard field goal just before halftime, Alabama intercepted the first pass of the second half and scored 17 more points in a row. The Tide ran 79 plays to LSU's 45, while possessing the ball for 39:27.
So, now LSU would have to win out -- after this, it visits Ole Miss and hostS Texas A&M -- to reach the SEC Championship Game and have Alabama lose either at Mississippi State (this week) or at Auburn. Not likely for the Tide, but not impossible. LSU is 27-2 following a loss under Coach Les Miles, with the two back-to-back defeats vs. Ole Miss and Arkansas in 2008, and Alabama and Arkansas last year.
LSU is 4-4 against the spread on college football picks and 6-2 O/U.
Unranked Arkansas beat No. 17 LSU last November 17-0 in Fayetteville to end the Razorbacks' 17-game SEC road losing streak. Allen threw for 169 yards and tailbacks Jonathan Williams and Collins each had a touchdown run. The Hogs held LSU to just 123 total yards. Fournette had nine yards on five carries. It was Arkansas' shutout since a 20-0 win over Utah State in 2006 and first in an SEC game since 2002 against South Carolina. The next week, the Hogs would pitch another shutout against Ole Miss. LSU holds a 12-7 advantage over Arkansas in games since the teams started playing for “The Boot” in 1996. LSU is 11-2-1 against Arkansas in Baton Rouge.
The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings. LSU is 4-1 ATS in its past five after a loss. The 'under' is 6-1 in Arkansas' past seven road games. The 'under' is 7-3 in LSU's past 10 SEC games.
Free College Football Picks: LSU -8 and 'under' at BetOnline