SEC football coaches have taken note of Arkansas' past two games in which the Razorbacks beat LSU 17-0 and Ole Miss 30-0.
"That's very impressive what Arkansas has done," South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier said. "Yeah, give those guys credit.
Top to Bottom
1;(1);sg;Alabama;10-1;Going for SEC and national titles
2;(2);sg;Mississippi State;10-1;Egg Bowl vs Ole Miss never bigger
3;(3);sg;Georgia;9-2;Can win East if Hogs beat Mizzou
4;(5);d;Missouri;9-2;Will win 2nd consecutive SEC East title with victory over Hogs
5;(6);d;Auburn;8-3;Would love to ruin Alabama’s national title hopes
6;(9);d;Arkansas;6-5;First back-to-back conference shutouts since 1965
7;(7);sg;LSU;7-3;New Thanksgiving weekend opponent with Aggies
8;(4);f;Ole Miss;8-3;Three consecutive SEC losses since beating A&M
9;(8);f;Texas A&M;7-4;LSU replaces Texas as Thanksgiving foe
10;(10);sg;Tennessee;5-5;Bowl eligible with victory over Vandy
11;(11);sg;6-5;South Carolina;Going for 6th consecutive victory over Clemson
12;(12);sg;Florida;6-4;Looking to upset Seminoles in Muschamp’s farewell game
13;(13);sg;Kentucky;5-6;Has to beat Petrino to get bowl eligible
14;(14);sg;Vanderbilt;3-8;Back to the bad old days
BY THE NUMBERS
36 — Alabama school-record first downs in the Crimson Tide’s 48-14 victory over Western Carolina last week. The Tide broke the record of 35 set against Kentucky last season and Western Carolina in 2007.
429 — School-record points for Mississippi State this season, surpassing the 390 scored by the 2007 Bulldogs.
“It took Samford scoring for us to realize we need to get our crap together, really.”— Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah, on the Tigers beating Samford 31-7 after falling behind 7-0.
“You’d have to chain hm down to keep I’m from going in this game.” — Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze, on if quarterback Bo Wallace will be ready to play vs Mississippi State after injuring ankle last week at Arkansas.
"They look like about the best team in the country right now."
Vanderbilt Coach Derek Mason, a former defensive coordinator at Stanford, said the Razorbacks have a better idea of what they're doing in Coach Bret Bielema's second season.
"In year two, he had a chance to cement who they are," Mason said. "To play well on the back end shows their confidence level in what they're doing scheme-wise and how those kids have bought into what they're preaching."
Mason said he's a friend of Arkansas defensive backs coach Clay Jennings and the two talk during the season.
"We don't play each other, so it's easier for us to just have a conversation," Mason said. "If we've got something to ask each other, we do.
"Clay's talked about their growth and how their consistency and confidence has started to help that football team ascend. You've just got to stick to your plan. Your plan will work itself out as long as you understand where you're trying to go."
The Razorbacks had lost 17 consecutive SEC games before beating LSU.
"Coach Bielema's done just a great job," LSU Coach Les Miles said. "It speaks to the strength of this Western division. There's a team that hadn't won games in this division that has now and is really a pretty talented football team."
One track mind
Georgia Coach Mark Richt said he and the Bulldogs haven't been learning how to call the Hogs this week.
Neither will there be a Georgia watch party Friday when Arkansas plays at Missouri.
"Oh no, no, no," Richt said. "No way.
"We are not going to be doing anything but focusing on those gentlemen from Atlanta."
Georgia plays Georgia Tech on Saturday in Athens, and Richt said the Bulldogs can't afford to pay attention to whether Arkansas beats Missouri -- which would send Georgia to the SEC Championship Game.
"We've made a pact that we're not going to talk about it," Richt said of the Arkansas-Missouri game. "We know how important this [Georgia Tech] game is and we know it's the only thing we control.
"It sounds boring and you hear it a lot, but you really do need to get your mind right on that, because if you don't, you're cheating yourself. You're cheating your teammates."
Richt's attitude is understandable, but in this age of social media, the Bulldogs are going to know what's going on in the Arkansas-Missouri game.
"Obviously, people are going to be checking the score," Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason said according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I mean, I'd be a liar if I said we weren't.
"But our main focus is on beating Tech. It would be a shame if we spent all our emotion and our time and energy focusing on a game we can't control and come out and don't take care of business against Georgia Tech."
Having fun with Rhett
When Auburn played Samford last week, the Bulldogs used play-calling placards with the face of Tigers offensive coordinator Rhett Lashee, a former Razorback who used to be Samford's offensive coordinator.
"They had given me the heads up they had something planned," Lashlee told reporters this week. "I didn't know what it was. Those were interesting.
"They had a little fun with it. I have been told that I'm going to get them sent my way. If I ever get them, maybe I'll bring them in so we can all have a good laugh."
The North Carolina Pre-Flight Cloudbusters have gotten some attention this week as result of Arkansas beating LSU 17-0 and Ole Miss 30-0.
Arkansas became the second unranked team to shut out two ranked opponents since the Cloudbusters did it in 1942, when they beat No. 15 Syracuse 9-0 and No. 13 William & Mary 14-0.
The Cloudbusters -- a group of former college players enrolled in the U.S. Navy pre-flight school at North Carolina in Chapel Hill -- had SEC legends John Vaught and Bear Bryant among their assistants coaches in 1942 and 1944.
Vaught, who coached Ole Miss to a 190-61-12 record, was a Cloudbusters' assistant in 1942. Bryant, the Arkansas native who coached Kentucky and Alabama to a combined 232-46-9 record, was a Cloudbusters assistant in 1944.
Kentucky vs. Petrino
Bobby Petrino lost at Kentucky 21-20 in 2008 when he coached at Arkansas, but he'll be looking to stay perfect against the Wildcats as Louisville's coach when the teams play Saturday.
Louisville is 4-0 under Petrino vs Kentucky with an average winning margin of 20 points. In Petrino's last Louisville-Kentucky game, the Cardinals won 59-28 in 2006.
Young and eager
Tennessee has started 11 true freshmen this season and played 23. The Vols had eight freshman starters in the their 29-21 loss to Missouri last week, including their placekicker.
"It's one of those years you just continue to teach and develop, and our players have done a great job with that," Tennessee Coach Butch Jones said. "They're very eager and come to work every day."
Mississippi State has a shot to beat Ole Miss for the fifth time in six years when the teams play on Saturday in Oxford.
The Rebels' lone victory the past five meetings came in 2012 when Ole Miss won 41-27. After the game, the video board on in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium ran a clip making fun of Mississippi State, saying, "We're never losing this thing again" in reference to the Egg Bowl.
That's when Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott, who is from Haughton, La., said he understood the magnitude of the Ole Miss-Mississippi State rivalry.
"They did a little jumbotron thing after the game," Prescott told reporters this week. "That stuck with me, that feeling.
"I'm ready to go back into Oxford and take care of business."
Sports on 11/27/2014