Arkansas came into the season ranked No. 8 in the nation and the Razorbacks were considered by many to be a BCS National Championship contender. Saturday, Arkansas lost 34-31 to the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks in overtime and in one fell swoop saw most of their aspirations destroyed.
Yahoo sports blog Dr. Saturday reported that when the Associated Press Top 25 rankings were released Sunday, the former top 10 squad had fallen all the way out of the top 25. The only other school to fall that dramatically in the Associated Press poll was Michigan in 2007 after a season-opening loss to Appalachian State, and FCS level school.
Louisiana-Monroe might not be an FCS school, but its win over Arkansas was its first over a ranked team since moving up to the FBS level in 1994.
The loss effectively ends, in week one, Arkansas’ hope for winning a national championship, but the non-league loss doesn’t hurt their shot at winning the SEC title, and that’s what t heir coach tried to focus on.
“Any loss is devastating,” Smith said. “Again, we still have the league in front of us. They’re all devastating, but we still have the league in front of us and that’s a positive.”
If the loss to the Warkhawks and drop in rankings weren’t enough to make it a bad weekend for Razorback football, quarterback Tyler Wilson and cornerback Tevin Mitchel both left the game with head injuries that required trips to the hospital.
Sports Illustrated reports that Arkansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Oklahoma State were among the four teams to drop out of the top 25 this week, being replaced by UCLA, Tennessee, Arizona and BYU.
The complete AP Top 25 poll — sans last week’s No. 8 Arkansas — is as follows.
1. Alabama (48)
2. USC (8)
3. LSU (4)
5. Florida St.
8. South Carolina
9. West Virginia
10. Michigan St.
12. Ohio St.
13. Virginia Tech
15. Kansas St.
20. Notre Dame