College football: Week 6 (where is rock bottom?)

It’s much like what’s said about people with severe addiction problems: Sometimes you must hit rock bottom before you can start back up.

Which leads to this question: Just where is rock bottom for the 2012 edition of the University of Arkansas Razorback football team?

Surely we’re close.

Let’s consider some of the dubious milestones reached by this football team in its 58-10 loss last Saturday to Texas A&M:

— The 557 yards for the Aggie quarterback were the most yards ever put up by an individual against an Arkansas team. That performance shattered the previous record of 473 yards set by David Klingler of Houston in 1990. It was a Texas A&M school record and broke the Southeastern Conference record set by Archie Manning of Ole Miss in 1969 and tied by Rohan Davey of LSU in 2001.

— Texas A&M’s 498 passing yards came in just one yard shy of the most passing yards ever allowed by Arkansas. Kentucky gained 499 yards through the air against the Razorbacks in 1998.

— The last time Arkansas ended September without a victory over what would now be called an FBS opponent was 1967.

— It was the most points ever scored by Texas A&M against Arkansas in a series that dates back to 1903.

— This is only the seventh time Arkansas has started a season 1-4 or worse. The previous times were 1903, 1905, 1943, 1953, 1958 and 1992.

— Arkansas, whose meltdown was featured last Saturday morning on ESPN’s “College GameDay,” is the first team since Pittsburgh in 1984 to be ranked in the preseason Top 10 and then lose four games in September.

— Arkansas last lost four games in a row in 2004.

— Texas A&M finished the game with 716 yards of offense. The last team to gain more yards against a Razorback squad was USC in 2005 when the Trojans had 763 yards en route to a 70-17 victory.

— Arkansas has now been outscored 110-10 in two Southeastern Conference games and has given up 1,154 yards in those games.

Yes, I’m getting tired of going to the record book each Saturday as this team continues to see how low it can go.

We were 8-1 on the picks last week (missing only the UCA game; we had picked the Bears to win on the road), making us 36-7 for the year.

Let’s get to the picks for Week 6:

Auburn 30, Arkansas 28 — Auburn’s offense is bad. Arkansas’ defense is worse. Auburn might be joining Arkansas in the search for a new head coach soon, especially if the Razorbacks somehow come back from The Plains with a victory.

Arkansas State 35, Florida International 33 — It was not a good outing in Jonesboro last Saturday for a Red Wolf team that ended September with records of 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the Sun Belt Conference. Western Kentucky won 26-13 after trailing 13-0 at the half before a crowd of more than 25,000 people in Jonesboro. Ryan Aplin was 23 of 40 passing for 204 yards for the Red Wolves, but ASU had just 335 yards of total offense. Only 103 yards of that came in the second half when the Red Wolves were just one of seven on third down. Florida International is also struggling at 1-4. The lone win was by a score of 41-38 in overtime over Terry Bowden’s Akron Zips. The losses have come by scores of 46-26 to Duke, 33-20 to Central Florida, 28-21 to Louisville and 48-20 to Louisiana-Lafayette. ASU and Florida International hook up on a Thursday night on ESPNU in what could be a close game.

UCA 27, Nicholls State 20 — The Bears were coming off that huge home victory over Sam Houston State, but they struggled in the rain at Nacogdoches, Texas, losing 42-37 to Stephen F. Austin. UCA ended September with records of 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Southland Conference. UCA was outgained 467-217 in the loss to SFA. The Bears were outscored 20-0 in the second quarter when they had just 16 yards of offense. Nicholls State, UCA Coach Clint Conque’s alma mater, comes to Conway for what’s shaping up to be another rainy Saturday. The Colonels played just three games in September, losing to South Alabama and Tulsa while posting a victory over tiny Evangel.

UAPB 14, Jackson State 12 — These two teams appear evenly matched. UAPB is 3-2 after a 40-13 loss to 5-0 Tennessee State last Saturday in Nashville. Jackson State is 2-3 with victories of 45-35 over Texas Southern and 34-13 over Prairie View A&M. The losses in September came by scores of 56-9 to Mississippi State, 38-12 to Tennessee State and 28-21 to Southern University. We’ll give the Golden Lions a slight advantage since they’re playing at home.

Ouachita 24, Southwestern Oklahoma 20 — Ouachita is 4-0 and ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division II despite being down to its third-string quarterback due to injuries. The Tigers survived on the road last Saturday, winning 27-24 over Southeastern Oklahoma in the rain at Durant. Sophomore Ty Towers of Star City, who started the season as a wide receiver, passed for 187 yards and rushed for another 103 yards. It’s homecoming at Ouachita, and Southwestern Oklahoma comes to Arkadelphia with records of 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the Great American Conference. We’ll pick Ouachita to again “win ugly” in the rain.

Henderson 52, UAM 31 — The 5-0 Reddies have been scoring more than 50 points per game so why not pick them to do so again even though it’s likely to be raining in Arkadelphia on Saturday afternoon? Henderson went on the road last Saturday for a 50-22 victory over Southwestern Oklahoma. Quarterback Kevin Rodgers was 19 of 31 passing for 241 yards and four touchdowns for the No. 14 Reddies. Henderson scored 35 consecutive points in the second and third quarters of that game. UAM fell to 1-4 with a 30-14 loss to 4-0 Southern Arkansas.

Harding 36, Southern Arkansas 25 — Two undefeated teams will battle Saturday in the Boomtown Classic at El Dorado. Southern Arkansas is 4-0 for the first time since 1997. The Muleriders scored the game’s final 23 points against UAM as Mark Johnson rushed for 203 yards and Tyler Sykora went 19 of 34 through the air for 354 yards. Harding, meanwhile, is 4-0 for the first time since 2002 after a 31-24 victory over East Cental Oklahoma in a game played at Searcy. The Bisons, who lead NCAA Division II in rushing, had 381 rushing yards in that game. Harding should move into the Division II Top 25 if it defeats Southern Arkansas.

Southeastern Oklahoma 32, Arkansas Tech 29 — Southeastern Oklahoma fell to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in Great American Conference play with its loss to Ouachita. Arkansas Tech snapped a three-game losing streak with a 41-20 win over Northwestern Oklahoma. Quarterback Tanner Marsh passed for 260 yards and rushed for 86 yards for the 2-3 Wonder Boys.

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