Auburn Wrests Title Of "Team Everyone Wants To Play" From Arkansas

Arkansas beat Auburn today, which in itself wouldn't be so strange except that as recently as this morning it was reasonable to ask whether Arkansas would ever win another game, ever, ever. The Hogs were a preseason top-10 team that lost f̶i̶v̶e̶ four games—in September. If someone was to cushion the fall, Tulsa looked likely to play airbag. Instead, the Auburn Tigers, just one million years off their 2010 national title, scored exactly one touchdown against a Razorbacks defense that in its previous two conference games allowed 110 points.

Now, the Tigers are not quite what you would call "good." Their only win was in OT against the same Louisiana-Monroe bracket-buster that had beaten then-No. 8 Arkansas in overtime. The Tigers did stick close to LSU, losing 12-10 last week, then were overmatched by an Arkansas team that came into the game ranked 116th nationally in defense. Arkansas forced five turnovers (after coming into the game having forced two all season) and registered eight sacks, more than doubling its season total. Part of that owes to the efforts of defensive end Trey Flowers, an Alabamian who had 3.5 sacks for the Hogs. Over at, Jim Harris reports:

"I guess you could say I had a chip on my shoulder. Coming back here and knowing that Auburn ain't give me a scholarship, so I just had a chip on my shoulder. Somebody's gotta pay. So I just made plays," said Flowers, who chose Arkansas over Georgia Tech with little or no attention from the top powers in his native state.

"Oh yeah," he insisted whether he really had Auburn's snub on his mind. "I've been thinking about it all season. I said before the season, ‘If you don't offer me, you better not play me.' I went out there and made sure they knew they missed an opportunity."

It's looking like a long-ass season for Gene Chizik's men. He's now 9-9 at Auburn in the post-Cam Newton era, a decidedly average team in an SEC West that abides nothing of the sort. Meanwhile John L. Smith has bought himself a shred of respectability as he prepares to get tossed when his single-season contact expires in a couple of months. He'll need it; this week court filings showed that his bankruptcy is even worse than previously disclosed. The guy owes somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 million, which even more than his dundering this year should give his next potential employer pause. Seriously: Forty million dollars. That's $40,000 a year for 1,000 years. Why even work, when you owe that much money? Grow a beard, disappear to Greece and spend your final years weaving thatch hats on sandy beaches for vacationing Turks. Read novels. Write poetry. Compose for the ukulele. Learn to make mindblowing paella. Live simply and die peacefully. Working, and investing, and capitalism of any sort plainly aren't your forte. Just—stop. After winning your next six games.

Arkansas forces 5 turnovers, 8 sacks in win against Auburn [AP]