Is Rex Nelson the Kiss of Death for the Arkansas Razorbacks?


Editor’s Note: Each week throughout football season Sporting Life Arkansas excerpts Rex Nelson’s Weekly Arkansas College Football Picks and links to Rex’s Southern Fried Blog for his full predictions. Rex makes his prediction for every four-year college football team in the state. Enjoy.

Rex Nelson Archive PageOK, OK.

I’m a believer.

Trust me, I’ve changed my evil ways.

Yes, I picked LSU to come into Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and defeat your beloved Hogs.

Yes, even after that 17-0 shutout, I picked Ole Miss to make the trip to Fayetteville and win.

No more.

I’m picking Arkansas over Missouri on Friday.

No ifs, ands or buts.

Let’s hope it’s not the kiss of death for the Arkansas Razorbacks as you eat your Thanksgiving leftovers, pray that Aunt Jane doesn’t spend another night at your house and then settle in front of the television Friday afternoon.

For too long we had to list the bad streaks — conference losing streaks, losing streaks to ranked teams, etc.

No more.

How about some positive history:

– The first back-to-back shutouts for an Arkansas Razorbacks team since 2002.

– The first back-to-back shutouts for an Arkansas team in conference play since 1965. That was a Razorback squad that went undefeated in the regular season.

– The first time for an Arkansas defense to shut out an Ole Miss team since 1998, Houston Nutt’s first year as head coach.

– The first SEC team with back-to-back conference shutouts since Tennessee did it in 2002.

This is, mind you, an Ole Miss team that had outscored its first 10 opponents 83-10 in the first quarter.

The score at the end of the first quarter Saturday?

Arkansas 17, Ole Miss 0.

Arkansas now has back-to-back wins over nationally ranked teams for the first time since 2011. Jonathan Williams has topped the 1,000-yard mark in rushing (1,013 yards to be exact), only the 17th time a Razorback has done that. Alex Collins, who is at 965 yards for the season, should join the exclusive fraternity on Friday.

The turnover margin for the Hogs against Ole Miss was plus five.

Does the magic continue in Columbia?

We’re 78-15 for the year. Let’s get to the final set of picks for 2014:

Arkansas 13, Missouri 10 — With or without Brandon Allen, the Arkansas defense will come through yet again. It won’t be a shutout, but it will be enough to win and spoil Tiger hopes for an SEC East crown. It will be Georgia going to Atlanta and losing to Alabama in the conference championship game. Missouri improved to 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the SEC with Saturday’s 29-21 win at Tennessee. It was the 10th consecutive road win for Mizzou. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they’re back home in Columbia where they’ve already lost to Indiana (Indiana for gosh sakes!) by a score of 31-27 and Georgia by a score of 34-0. Faurot Field still has a bit of a Big Eight (yes, I’m that old) feel. The Hogs get it done, finish the regular season with a 7-5 record and accept an invitation to play Texas in the Liberty Bowl. Tickets sell out within an hour. The temperature in Memphis at kickoff will be 28 degrees.

For Rex’s winners and losers in the Arkansas State vs. New Mexico State game and Ouachita’s playoff game against Minnesota-Duluth, click here.

sad arkansas razorbacks


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