In taking a shot at Ohio State’s schedule earlier this week, Arkansas’ Bret Bielema touted the fact that his Razorbacks still had eight ranked teams left on their schedule and that the top-to-bottom strength of the SEC is “unprecedented.” Ummm, whoops?
In one of the most karmic turn of events in recent sports history, Toledo — not one of the eight ranked teams of which Bielema spoke, incidentally — went into Little Rock and stunned the Hogs, with the Rockets of the MAC heading back to Ohio with a 16-12 win. It was the Rockets’ first-ever win over a current SEC team in four attempts.
Adding insult to won/loss injury, it was a former Alabama quarterback who played a major role in the upset. Phillip Ely, who won the starting job during summer camp, passed for 237 yards, one touchdown and, most importantly, no interceptions. In fact, in the hostile environment, UT as a team had no turnovers.
After Toledo took an intentional safety with a minute remaining, Arkansas had one last chance to pull out a win and avoid the upset. Starting at their own 48-yard line, Brandon Allen, who passed for a career-high 411 yards, guided the Hogs down to the 16-yard line with :06 remaining. An incompletion left Allen and the Hogs with one second and one last gasp remaining. The 16-yard line would be as close as they’d get, however, as another Allen sailed out of the end zone incomplete as the Rockets’ sideline erupted in celebration.
The SEC had a record 10 teams in the most recent Associated Press Top 25; here’s to guessing the conference won’t — or shouldn’t anyway — have that number exiting Week 2.