You can mark this one down. Arkansas will lose to Vanderbilt next Saturday. That will be the second year in a row. Which will undoubtedly raise the blood pressure of one J. Frank Broyles.
Here's the deal: Vanderbilt went into Ann Arbor the first week of the season and lost 21-7. They went into Tuscaloosa yesterday where they preceded to scare the bejeesus out of Alabama before succumbing to the Crimson Tide by the score of 13-10.
By way of contrast, Arkansas hasn't scared anybody. They managed to lose to Southern Cal 50-17 at home a week ago despite laying for those guys for 6 months. Last night, they beat a pretty lousy Utah State team by only 20-0 despite being allegedly vastly superior. Not only did the offense sputter-as it has the past 2 seasons-the kicking game proved creaky with a missed extra point and another going in after hitting a post.
What I saw of Vanderbilt yesterday was a team that plays with heart and intensity. They are coached by a guy who behaves like an adult. Granted, their quarterback got them into trouble against Michigan and Alabama. From what I can tell, Chris Nickson's biggest problem is that he isn't Jay Cutler. There ain't no shame in that.
The difference between Arkansas and Vanderbilt is that Bobby Johnson and his staff is getting the absolute best they can get out of the Commodores. The Razorbacks, at this point in time, are a psychodrama not usually seen this side of the New York Yankees.
The Vanderbilts are no longer an easy out. If you do not have your head screwed on straight you will be in for a long day. As far as I can tell, there aren't many good heads up on the Hill nowadays.
I say Vandy wins this won next Saturday in Nashville. And I say there will be hell to pay.