Rex Nelson college football picks: Week 11

Arkansas wide receiver Isaac TeSlaa (4) runs after a catch as Auburn safety Jaylin Simpson (36) defends Saturday during the second quarter of the Razorbacks 48-10 loss to the Tigers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)
Arkansas wide receiver Isaac TeSlaa (4) runs after a catch as Auburn safety Jaylin Simpson (36) defends Saturday during the second quarter of the Razorbacks 48-10 loss to the Tigers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)

I look back now and realize how silly I was to have picked Arkansas to beat Auburn. I wrote last week: "Is that win at Florida making us too confident?" The answer, of course, was yes.

This isn't a good Arkansas football team. And it was at its worst in Fayetteville last Saturday.

Auburn started the game with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Then, the Tigers returned Arkansas' first punt for a score. They should have called the game at that point. The Razorbacks clearly weren't into staging a comeback.

It was the third consecutive loss in Fayetteville as Arkansas fell to 3-7 overall and 1-6 in Southeastern Conference play. The 38-point margin was the second-worst loss of the Sam Pittman era.

With the two divisions in the SEC going away after this season, Arkansas finishes 68-97-2 in the West since joining the conference. Arkansas has now lost seven or more games in nine seasons since 2005. My sons were ages 12 and 8 in 2005. Unfortunately, they don't remember much good Razorback football.

I looked for something positive in the statistics. I couldn't find anything. Arkansas was outgained 517-255 while time of possession was 38:15 to 21:45 in favor of Auburn.

We were 4-3 on the picks last week (at least we have yet to have a losing week this season) to make the season record 74-17. Let's get to the selections for this week's games.

Arkansas 33, Florida International 22 -- I can't imagine there will be more than 30,000 in the stands Saturday night in Fayetteville, though I can assure you that university officials will report an attendance about twice the actual number of people inside the stadium. It's hard to pick Arkansas even against a 4-6 Florida International squad. But we'll do so and hope for the best. Florida International's four victories were by scores of 14-12 over Maine, 46-39 over North Texas, 24-17 over Connecticut and 33-27 over Sam Houston. The loses were by scores of 22-17 to Louisiana Tech, 38-6 to Liberty, 34-17 to New Mexico State, 27-14 to UTEP, 41-16 to Jacksonville State and 40-6 to Middle Tennessee. A Razorback victory would be the good news. The bad news is that a talented Missouri team rolls into Fayetteville the following Friday. Missouri moved to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the SEC with its 36-7 victory over Tennessee.

Arkansas State 24, Texas State 20 -- The Red Wolves are 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the Sun Belt Conference following a 21-14 loss at South Alabama. They need one victory in the final two games to qualify for a bowl game. It would be nice to see that happen this Saturday afternoon in Jonesboro against 6-4 Texas State. The Bobcats' six wins were by scores of 42-31 over Baylor, 77-34 over Jackson State, 35-24 over Nevada, 50-36 over Southern Mississippi, 21-20 over Louisiana-Monroe and 45-24 over Georgia Southern. The four losses were by scores of 20-13 to Texas-San Antonio, 34-30 to Louisiana-Lafayette, 31-13 to Troy and 31-23 to Coastal Carolina. The teams seem evenly matched from a talent standpoint. So we'll go with our heart (and the home-field advantage).

Austin Peay 39, UCA 31 -- There was magic in Conway late Saturday afternoon. Eastern Kentucky scored with just 24 seconds remaining to go ahead, having driven 99 yards in 49 seconds. On the first play after the kickoff, the Bears had a 37-yard pass completion. The next two passes were incomplete, and the clock was down to three seconds. That's when quarterback Will McElvain hurled the ball toward the end zone. It bounced off the hands of one receiver and into the hands of another. Hail Mary! The Bears won 27-24 to move to 7-3 overall and 4-1 in conference play. UCA can earn a playoff berth with a win this week at Austin Peay. That's a tall order against this 8-2 team. The only two Austin Peay losses came in the first two games -- 49-23 to Southern Illinois and 30-13 to Tennessee. The eight consecutive victories have been by scores of 63-3 over East Tennessee State, 22-20 over Stephen F. Austin, 52-10 over Lindenwood, 41-14 over Gardner-Webb, 48-45 over Southern Utah, 49-39 over North Alabama, 33-30 over Eastern Kentucky and 30-17 over Utah Tech.

Texas Southern 17, UAPB 13 -- The Golden Lions fell to 1-9 overall and 0-7 in the SWAC on Friday night with a 43-14 loss to Grambling. UAPB ends the season on the road in Houston this Saturday against a 3-7 Texas Southern squad. Texas Southern's three victories were by scores of 52-7 over Lincoln of California, 34-31 over Bethune-Cookman and 44-10 over Alcorn State. The seven losses were by scores of 37-34 to Prairie View A&M, 71-3 to Toledo, 59-7 to Rice, 35-23 to Grambling, 31-21 to Florida A&M, 23-17 to Southern University and 21-19 to Jackson State.

Central Missouri 41, Henderson 30 -- The Reddies ended a six-game losing streak in the Battle of the Ravine with a 31-27 victory over a Ouachita team that came in ranked No. 10 in the country in NCAA Division II. Both Arkadelphia teams finished the regular season with 9-2 records. Andrew Edwards, the Reddies' fine sophomore quarterback from Bentonville, was 21 of 29 passing for 218 yards and two touchdowns. Henderson made the Division II playoffs but must travel to play a 10-1 Central Missouri team. The Mules' only loss was by a single point, 38-37, to Pittsburg State. The Mules have quite an offense. In their 10 wins, they've scored 45, 41, 58, 41, 38, 63, 77, 42, 47 and 63 points. The winner of this game goes to Searcy the following week to take on 11-0 Harding. The Bisons, ranked No. 3 in the country this week by the American Football Coaches Association, earned a first-round bye as the top team in the region.