Arkansas Razorbacks prove their quality again with another huge upset

Arkansas dominated Ole Miss 30-0 Saturday for the upset win (©GettyImages)

Ignore the 6-5 record, which makes Arkansas football bowl eligible but otherwise irrelevant for Southeastern Conference contention. Forget for a moment that the Razorbacks were on a 17-game SEC losing streak a mere two weeks ago.

Close your eyes, swallow hard and accept this simple fact: Arkansas is really, really good.

Now open your eyes. We figure you for thought that last week's 17-0 trouncing of then-No. 17 LSU, which ended that ignominious losing streak, was a fluke. Pretty much everyone else did too.

But the Razorbacks followed up that upset win with a 30-0 decimation of 8th-ranked Ole Miss and suddenly some certainties in life no longer seem so self evident.

After all, this Arkansas team has a 13-22 record since 2012. They haven't been relevant contenders in the SEC since Bobby Petrino infamously crashed his motorcycle with his mistress. 

Yet here they are, crushing a team that was considered a playoff contender a few weeks ago, and suddenly realize that the Razorbacks have one more chance to play spoiler this season.

Here's why they could pull another upset very soon.

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The defense

Arkansas has sported a respectable rushing attack all year, averaging 232 yards a game, good for 22nd in the country.

But the real revelation in recent weeks has been the defense, which has forced two unlikely shutouts and, for the most part, keeps the Razorbacks in the game against anyone. 

Arkansas gives up an average of only 20 points against, the 16th-best mark in the country. That defense clobbered Ole Miss Saturday, forcing six turnovers in a rain-soaked competition.

The coach

Bret Beliema is for real. There was no way to tell last year, when he inherited his predecessor's recruiting class and eked out a 3-9 record. 

But one of the best ways to tell the quality of a coach is to see if his team stays competitive regardless of its record. And in the always-difficult SEC, that is no small task.

Arkansas has met that goal. It can boast of two major upset wins now. And even before the Razorbacks' national coming out party the last two weeks, they lost to then-No. 7 Alabama by only a single point in October and then-No. 6 Texas A&M by an overtime touchdown in late September.

The upset

Now look around the corner.

There's No. 20 Missouri, fresh off a 29-21 win over Tennessee that preserved the Tigers' championship dreams. If Missouri can only get past Arkansas, it will represent the SEC East for the second straight year in the conference's championship game.

If they lose, No. 10 Georgia will take their place.

The math is as simple as that. But while Missouri fans may have thought this game would be a simple equation, an easy win, it no longer seems like a sure bet anymore.

Count on Arkansas to flip the odds on Nov. 28, if they continue to play possessed as they have the last couple of weeks.

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