No. 5 Arkansas (9-1 overall, 6-0 in SEC) vs. Mississippi State (3-7 overall, 1-5 in SEC)
Site: Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, Starkville, Miss.
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Radio/TV: The ARSN network will broadcast the game on radio affiliates. The game will not be televised.
What James says: Considering who they were playing last Saturday (Tennessee), it was the most consistent game offensively and defensively that Arkansas has played in at least 15 years. What the coaching staff has to do this week is bring these guys back to reality, forget about ESPN Game Day being in Fayetteville, forget about the great victory, and get them to believe Mississippi State is capable of beating them. That should be easy, just pointing out what happened to Texas losing at Kansas State last week.
On the Bulldogs: Mississippi State is not going to roll over. This is going to be their bowl game, the No. 5 team in the nation is coming in, Coach Sylvester Croom is telling his players they were so bad in Little Rock last year that it was his most embarrassing moment in football as a player or coach. They’ve had two weeks to prepare. They are going to play very tough football. The key for Arkansas is they can’t have turnovers. On the other hand, Mississippi State will try to do everything it can to make Arkansas go 80 yards and stop itself and will try hang around to the fourth quarter and make it a game. They have their quarterback, Michael Henig, back healthy, and they have an all-world freshman running back in Anthony Dixon, who hurt Alabama. Their offensive line should not be able to handle our defensive line, but I think it will be a very tough football game for a half.
The pick: Arkansas has too much to play for, an SEC West championship and spot in the SEC Championship Game if they win, 10 wins for the season, a chance to move up higher in the BCS standings. Arkansas, 31-10.
Watch former Arkansas All-American defensive end Bruce James along with David Bazzel and host Steve Sullivan on KATV, Channel 7’s “SportsWeek” Sundays at 10:30 p.m.