It's Not Easy Playing Number One
Alabama is ranked number one in the nation this week and is hosting Arkansas at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. This will be the fourth time a Razorbacks squad has challenged a top-ranked Crimson Tide team. Alabama has won the three previous match-ups.
Bama has been ranked first in the nation since the pre-season after the Tide won last year's national championship (with Alabama's sixth win over a number one ranked team, beating Notre Dame 42-14). The Tide is 6-0 overall this year, including a 3-0 Southeastern Conference record. Arkansas is 3-4 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
The Razorbacks first met a number one ranked Alabama team in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 1961 season with the Tide taking a 10-3 win. Bama was ranked first in the nation in 2010 when Bama had a difficult time against Arkansas, but won 24-20. The Tide was also ranked number one when facing the Razorbacks last year and rolled to a 52-0 victory.
This will be Arkansas's 20th meeting against a number one ranked team (seven times against Texas) and the Razorbacks are 4-15 in the previous encounters.
Playing against Bama as a top ten team, Arkansas has a record of 1-1 when the Tide is number two (although the Hogs "win" was a 43-3 score in favor of Bama in 1993, later ordered forfeited); Alabama is 2-0 as the third rated team playing Arkansas; and the Tide is 2-0 when ranked ninth.
So Alabama as a ranked team is 9-0 (8-1 after the forfeit) against the Hogs.
In all games (and there aren't many since Arkansas joined the SEC only in 1992), Alabama has a 16-7 on-the-field record against the Razorbacks. NCAA decisions have been beneficial to the Hogs, changing that record to 13-8 in Bama's favor.
Alabama Coach Nick Saban will be coaching against Arkansas for the 12th time, six times as Bama's coach, the others when he was at LSU. Saban is 9-2 on the field, 8-2 after the 2007 Tide win was vacated. His two losses came when he was at LSU, where he had a 3-2 record against the Razorbacks.
Arkansas is under the direction of first-year coach Bret Bielema, who will be making his first head coaching appearance against the Tide.
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