LITTLE ROCK — As Arkansas' players strolled to the locker room Friday evening, more disappointed than tired, LSU fans began a chant of "BCS! BCS!"

The crowd was lobbying for the Tigers to get invited to a top-tier bowl game. But it might as well have been a swan song for the No. 5 Razorbacks.

Arkansas entered War Memorial Stadium with the hope of keeping its slim national championship hopes alive, as well as improving on its No. 6 standing in the Bowl Championship Series.

But those plans were dashed with a 31-26 loss to No. 9 LSU in front of a crowd of 55,833. The winning streak is over. The talk of playing for a national title has stopped. And the Golden Boot trophy is headed back to Baton Rouge.

"That took us out of a national championship race, so now we've just got to come out here and play for the SEC championship," said Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, who rushed for 182 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the losing cause.

The Razorbacks (10-2, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) gave up too many big plays, quarterback Casey Dick didn't complete enough passes and the team's late drive for the potentially game-winning touchdown fell short against the Tigers.

As a result, Arkansas ended its otherwise impressive regular season on a low point. The players had to deal with their first loss since getting embarrassed 50-14 to No. 3 Southern California in the Sept. 2 season opener.

And the Razorbacks must quickly turn around following their first SEC loss of the season and get ready to face No. 4 Florida in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta next Saturday.

"We're still champions, and we know we're truly the champions," Arkansas defensive end Jamaal Anderson said, referring to the team's place atop the SEC West. "We can't let this get to us because we have a game next week.

"A few people are down, but we'll be fine in the morning."

But the hangover from Friday's loss could take a little longer to get over. It was a three-hour and 18-minute loss that left some Arkansas' players looking disheveled in the locker room afterward.

And Arkansas coach Houston Nutt had to address his quarterback situation after Dick struggled through his worst game as the starting quarterback.

The sophomore completed only 3 of 17 passes for 29 yards with one touchdown and one interception, and the offense stalled too many times against LSU's top-ranked offense.

It didn't matter that McFadden and Felix Jones each rushed for more than 100 yards.

"It was a rough day," Dick said. "They're a fantastic defense. They're big, they're fast, they're physical and they did a lot of things to put them into some good situations.

"But we still missed some big opportunities that would have helped us out."

There was Dick's interception early in the fourth quarter that led to a quick touchdown by the Tigers. There was Trindon Holliday breaking off a 92-yard kickoff return on the ensuing kickoff following an 80-yard touchdown run by McFadden.

And then there was Dick throwing four straight incompletions on the team's final drive in the final two minutes to snap Arkansas' 10-game winning streak.

"I'd love to have a couple of plays back, maybe a kickoff back," Nutt said. "(We) can't turn the ball over on our part of the red zone and let them go 15 yards. That's too many gifts, too easy for a good football team.

"You don't have to help good football teams."

As LSU coach Les Miles sees it, his team might be more than just good. It might be the best in the SEC West in spite of Arkansas heading to next week's championship game.

"Ruining undefeated seasons is not why we're playing," Miles said. "... The (SEC) West division champion is the Arkansas team, but I'm not certain who the best is."

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