Tired Hogs Have No Time To Rest
After going seven straight weeks without a break, the No. 5 Razorbacks appeared to be too worn down Saturday evening to celebrate winning the Southeastern Conference's western division. They were relatively quiet in the visitor's locker room following a 28-14 win over Mississippi State that clinched the title. And the plane ride home was rather subdued, as well. "It was great, but it wasn't as jubilant as I thought it'd be. I think they're tired," Nutt said Sunday. "They were awfully happy, I know that, awfully happy. Now, we've got another game, though." Nutt said he noticed during the pregame warmups that his players appeared sluggish, and it took Arkansas more than a half to get its offense going. But the Razorbacks (10-1, 7-0 SEC) won't enjoy a break anytime soon. They have only a few days to prepare for Friday's regular-season finale against No. 9 LSU in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium, and then they turn around and face No. 4 Florida in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta on Dec. 2. Nutt said this past week took an especially large toll on his players because he put a lot of pressure on them to wrap up the SEC West with a win at Mississippi State. He admitted it was the most pressure he had put on his team to win a game this season. "I think if we were relaxed, nonchalant (and) everybody enjoy the season, I think you get beat at Starkville," Nutt said. "I think you get beat, and I may be looking at you two touchdowns behind, instead of two touchdowns ahead (in the win)." It was Arkansas' 10th straight win, but perhaps just as important as clinching the SEC West championship, the victory also kept the Razorbacks in the national championship hunt. Arkansas remained at No. 5 in the latest Associated Press poll, but the team moved up one spot to No. 5 in the USA Today coaches poll. The move helped the Razorbacks' chances since the coaches poll is one of the polls that's used to determine the Bowl Championship Series standings. With previously unbeaten Rutgers losing 30-11 at Cincinnati on Saturday, Arkansas moved up one spot to No. 6 in the BCS standings. Florida is No. 4. "(The national championship race) is just going to come down to you've got to keep winning," Nutt said. "That's all you can control. You got to control your own deal."
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