Few people -- well, few people outside of Oxford -- have been more critical than Bobby Petrino and Arkansas fans' expectations of Houston Nutt and their program than your humble correspondent. So, in a way, it's probably time to say that I'm wrong.
To be clear: I still wouldn't want my program associated with Bobby Petrino in any way. But Petrino has done something that Houston Nutt never did: Barring a South Carolina upset of Auburn in the SEC Championship Game or a major surprise in the BCS standings over the next week, Arkansas will go to a BCS bowl for the first time.
And the Hogs locked up their spot in surprising fashion, by shelling the league's best defense for 31 points and 464 yards. That's almost twice as many points and 200 more yards than LSU has allowed against the average team on its schedule all year. The game marked the second-highest point total (after Ole Miss) and second-highest total yardage (after Auburn) that the Bayou Bengals allowed all season.
Ryan Mallett completed 13 passes -- for 320 yards. Three of those passes went to Cobi Hamilton, who had a jaw-dropping 164 yards, and average of 54.7 per catch. (And one of those passes actually lost a yard; Hamilton had touchdown receptions of 80 and 85 yards.) Knile Davis continued a great year that has balanced Petrino's attack, carrying the ball 30 times for 152 yards.
So congratulations to Arkansas and to Petrino. Whether you think the head coach deserves it or not, Arkansas' fans and players do.