Ohio State Buckeyes @ Arkansas Razorbacks All State Sugar Bowl Pick: What can I say? I’m not very fond of the Big 10. Apparently, that’s for good reason, as the Big 10 powers have gone down hard this Bowl Season. Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Northwestern, and Michigan State all fell short in their bowl games, even future Big 10 Nebraska lost in the biggest surprise of the holiday games. And even though Illinois and Iowa won their games, and Ohio State has a chance here, it’s easy to see why I’m not all that enamored with the Big 10.
But Ohio State shouldn’t be judged with the rest of the Big 10, because all by themselves, without that, they haven’t been amazing. Ohio State has a persona that goes with them, and they are always competitive, always competing for a National Championship – but not this year, and that’s because they rarely got the chance to impress against any of the other great teams in college football. They lost to Wisconsin, and the Badgers looked much better than the Buckeyes in that game. They didn’t get a chance to play Michigan State. So, they beat Iowa and Penn State. Yes, Ohio State’s best wins were the 7-5 Hawkeyes and the 7-5 Nittany Lions. Impressed yet? Me neither.
Arkansas didn’t really sail through top opponents, either – but they played some good football against some very good teams, and that has to give them the edge here. The Razorbacks beat LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M – all pretty dang good teams. They lost to Auburn 65-43 and Alabama 20-24, but they were up a touchdown early in the 4th quarter against Auburn and up 20-7 late in the 3rd quarter against Alabama. They have the talent to be the best team in the Nation, and they’ve played like it even against the best opponents on their schedule.
I expect Arkansas to win outright.
#6 Ohio State Buckeyes @ #8 Arkansas Razorbacks (+3.5)