Arkansas to the Cotton Bowl? Freeze to Ole Miss?
Everyone in the state of Arkansas who hasn’t been living under a rock has already heard the news by now, but we thought we’d repeat it — the Arkansas Razorbacks will face the Kansas State Wildcats in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 6 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
Both are two-loss teams. Arkansas closed out the season ranked 6th in the nation and Kansas State is ranked 8th. It’s worth mentioning that Arkansas is not heading for a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game as only two teams per conference can appear in those contests. Indeed, 1st ranked Louisiana State University and 2nd ranked Alabama will represent the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in the national championship game at the Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 9.
There may be some Hogs fans out there who are discouraged by the fact the team ranked sixth in the nation and is settling for the Cotton Bowl. We at First Arkansas News certainly hope that’s not the case for a number of reasons:
* Arkansas finished 10-2 with losses coming only to LSU and Alabama — the two top teams in the nation. There are a lot of things to celebrate there. For one thing, the Hogs finishing 10-2 was next to impossible during the Houston Nutt era and Arkansas rarely looked competitive against topped ranked teams. The program has definitely improved since Bobby Petrino took over as head coach four years ago.
* Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson chalked up an SEC-leading 285.2 passing yards per game this year and threw for 22 touchdowns. Wilson will be back next season. Knile Davis, the 2010 SEC-leading running back who sat out this season due to injury, will be back next year.
So, we hope all Razorbacks fans will celebrate the Cotton Bowl appearance and enjoy the game. This will be Arkansas’ 12th Cotton Bowl appearance — the last one was in 2008 when the team lost 37-8 to Missouri.
Arkansas isn’t the only team in the state heading to a bowl. Arkansas State (ASU) will face Northern Illinois on January 8 in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Arkansas State is coming off a good season at 10-2 — an achievement that caught the attention of Ole Miss. Yes, Ole Miss ran off head coach Houston Nutt last month and is looking to hire someone.
The Washington Post reports that Ole Miss has made a job offer to ASU coach Hugh Freeze and that offer has been accepted. The Post claims Freeze will be announced as the new Mississippi coach on Monday, so we’ll certainly keep an eye on that.
Update: Freeze is, indeed, heading to Ole Miss. Click here for details.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.