Take this quote from UA quarterback Ryan Mallett as exhibit number one of the importance of Saturday night's game between the Razorbacks (7-4, 3-4) and the Tigers (8-3, 4-3) at 6 p.m. in Baton Rouge.
"It is "The Boot," Mallett said "That is all that needs to be said there."
"We also know they see a lot of revenge and things like that because they want The Boot back and we want to keep it here," Mallett said. "That is why this rivalry is so great. It doesn't stay in the same spot too many times and when it does, it means one side is down. But right now both teams are on the rise and it is going to be a tough battle. "
Mallett, who has set or tied 12 UA records this season,said it's about taking the hardware to and then home Saturday night from a place that is dubbed as Death Valley.
"You are playing for a trophy and any time you are playing for a trophy, I want to win and I think that most of the guys in the locker room feel the same way," Mallett said.
Arkansas wideout and former Warren standout Greg Childs, who grew up much closer to Baton Rouge than Fayetteville, has bought into the hype of the match-up as well.
"When you were a kid and in high school, you always at the end of the season you'd get ready for the Arkansas-LSU game - The Battle for the Boot," Childs said. "It is a huge game. We always want Arkansas to win. Now I have got a chance to help Arkansas win. It's real big, especially since I am close to down there. It's maybe an hour-and-a-half away so it is a real big deal."
It's certainly a big deal to Arkansas safety Jerico Nelson, who is from Louisiana and played his high school football with LSU starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson at Destrehan.
"I got to play with him two years in high school," Nelson said."He started as a junior and the year before that - their cornerback Jai Eugene was my quarterback my sophomore year. Jordan, it was good to play with and now it helps me play against him...the things he does and things he doesn't. I understand his style of play better."
Nelson, came back from an MCL injury to play in last season's win over the Tigers.
"It was my best performance the whole year," Nelson said. "I ended up with two sacks and nine tackles. It was just a different vibe we had that game. That was a game where the whole defense just connected the dots."
He says this game is indeed a rivalry one.
"It's a big rival down there," Nelson said. "When I first committed to Arkansas, it was ther talk of our whole little city or anybody who knew me. A lot of people was made that I committed to Arkansas and then it was the fact that it was a rivalry game between those two.
"When I go home, I catch a lot of heat, except for when we won nobody really had anything to say," Nelson added."They didn't want to talk about it. But now since it is a different year coming up, I am getting a lot of phone calls and facebook messages. about the game. I think it is going to be a very intense game this year.
"It encourages me to do better when I go down there," Nelson continued. "A lot of people have called and told me they we hope y'all lose, but we hope you play well. But when we go down there, I am with Arkansas, not with Louisiana so I am here to win and not to lose."
It also appears that Arkansas could be playing to get into the Cotton Bowl, which will be played Jan. 2 at 1 p.m. inside the Dallas Cowboy' new stadium. and televised on Fox.
If the Razorbacks lose, they could very well end up in the Autozone Liberty Bowl in Memphis on Jan. 2 at 4:30 p.m. - a game that will be televised by ESPN.
"I think you just undrstand that that all plays itself out," Petrino said. "What we have to do as a football coaching staff and players is just get ready for this game, and worry about our performance. This is the seniors last game that they get to play, last sec contest. I think there's a lot to get prepared for for this game and then what happens after that just takes care of itself. We obviously have zero influence on any of the bowl selections, so there's really no reason to even worry about it."
Petrino thinks preparing for LSU is enough challenge in its own right.
"They're very fast," Petrino said."They're very fast in the kicking game. Their punt returns, I think they're fourth or something in the country in punt return. You worry about their speed at wide receiver. Jefferson is very, very capable of throwing the ball. He's improved tremendously from his true freshman year a year ago. Defensively, they're big and physical. There's a lot to beating LSU - we have to play well and play physical and play fast and really do a good job of executing."
Arkansas has yet to win a true road game this season and would like to put that in its list with a win at LSU.
"I think the whole team is excited to go on the road and get a win," Petrino saiud."We need to go win a tough game on the road and get that experience and play well on the road. It's certainly something i think as an entire team that we want to get done."
Petrino was asked if he thought there would be any carryover from the Razorbacks downing the Tigers the last two seasons.
"It does give you some confidence in the fact that when you watch the video you're watching the same guys you were playing against last year," Petrino said. "When you look at their defense, most of those guys are the exact same guys we played against last year, with the exception of the great defensive end and a real good linebacker."
The Tigers are coming off a 25-23 loss at Ole Miss in which LSU head coach Les Miles' clock managament is being discussed - and ridiculed - at length both in Louisiana and nationally.
It is the type of controversey that might have had a big efffect on Arkansas' loss at Ole Miss - one that came a week after the Razorbacks' 23-20 loss at No. 1 Florida .
The fans and players spent the week talking about missed calls bythe referees - something the SEC even addressed by suspending the crew that worked the game.
"When did we play florida? it's a long year. what you've got to try to do is forget about those things and move on and get to the next game," Petrino said." I think Im going to pass on that one."
He eventually got the idea that the questioner was wondering if there could be something similar in store for LSU this week.
"Oh yeah, I think it's something that really gives you a hangover," Petrino said while laughing." I didn't get it. I didn't get it. I think they need to talk about it all week long."