Brendan Maloney-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Both Arkansas and Texas A&M are looking to prove their SEC bona fides as they meet this week.
It would be an exaggeration to prove that Texas A&M is still looking to prove it belongs in the SEC while Arkansas is looking to prove it still belongs in the SEC. But not by much. One team is in search of its first SEC win in school history; the other is in search of the first SEC win of the season and maybe what remains of its dignity.
Aside from its inaugural outing in the SEC, which featured a patented come-from-ahead loss in the second half, Texas A&M has pretty much had as good a season to this point as can be expected. The Aggies dismantled SMU like an SEC team should, then leveled S.C. State in the most cupcakey of cupcake games.
Kevin Sumlin's offense isn't even leading the conference, but the 462.3 ypg clip is nothing to be sneered at. And the defense -- Top 20 in most categories, with the exception being passing yardage -- is solid even by the standards of the Aggies' new league. Of course, the fact is that most of the games that A&M has played so far have not been in the Aggies' new league. So grain of salt required.
Arkansas still passes well. When Tyler Wilson is healthy. And the net punting numbers are good. And ... um ... they don't give up a ton of sacks? Beyond that, the Hogs rank 9th or worse in the SEC in every major statistic tracked by the NCAA. And, well, they have largely not compiled those numbers against the SEC either. Like A&M, the Razorbacks can count one conference game among their slate so far.
If there were a game that might wake up the Razorbacks and help them correct their season, it would be the contest against an old SWC foe and a team still trying to get its footing in the SEC. It just feels like things have gone so far beyond that.
Texas A&M 28, Arkansas 13