Arkansas Hoping To Spend New Year's Day

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas interim coach Reggie Herring and the Razorbacks have made it clear where they want to spend New Year's Day -- The Cotton Bowl.

But Herring, who is charge of the program after former coach Houston Nutt's departure on Monday night, said getting there could come at a small cost.

"We've got to cheer for the Tigers," Herring said. "One time out of your life you've got to cheer for the LSU Tigers."

In Herring's opinion, Arkansas' Cotton Bowl hopes rest in the Tigers' hands when they play Tennessee in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday. The Hogs put themselves in good position to earn their first invitation to the Dallas-based bowl since 2001 by knocking off then-No. 1 LSU on Friday. But Herring said it won't be solidified unless the Tigers win the SEC championship.

"If they win, let me say this, it's very favorable in our direction," he said. "No guarantees. But we've got to cheer for the Tigers. If the Tigers don't win, then I would say it's pretty much up to the football gods."

Most bowl projections have the Razorbacks penciled into the Cotton Bowl against either Missouri, Kansas or Oklahoma from the Big 12. But those projections could change if LSU loses to the Volunteers. A loss would likely drop the Tigers from the Bowl Championship Series bowl picture and into Cotton Bowl contention.

Cotton Bowl president Rick Baker confirmed the Razorbacks remain one of four teams -- which also include LSU, Auburn and Tennessee -- on the radar. He said the recent coaching change at Arkansas have no bearing on the selection.

"We invite the university. We invite the team," Baker said. "We don't invite one person or one group of people. This is a full, university celebration. That's certainly the way we look at it. No, (Nutt's departure) will have no effect."

If the Razorbacks don't receive a Cotton Bowl bid, they'll likely end up in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis or the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.

Herring said Arkansas will be prepared to play in any bowl game. But the Hogs are hoping -- with LSU's help -- they'll spend New Year's Day in Dallas.

"We've got the Heisman Trophy candidate (Darren McFadden) and possibly the Heisman trophy winner to showcase along with a team that just came off beating the No. 1 team in the country at their place," Herring said. "We've got the respect of the country on our side. They know that we'll put on a tremendous show."

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