The No. 8 Arkansas Razorbacks have accepted a bid to play the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Jan. 4, 20011 AllState Sugar Bowl Classic in New Orleans.
It will be the first time the two programs have ever met on the gridiron, and it will also be the first ever BCS Bowl game for the Hogs. In addition, it marks the first trip to the Louisiana Superdome since joining the Southeastern Conference in 1992. It is a milestone invitation for the 10-2 Hogs.
"As a team, we are very excited to be representing the state of Arkansas in the Allstate Sugar Bowl," UA quarterback Ryan Mallett stated in a release. "Our focus the next few weeks will be to prepare to go play a very good Ohio State team. As I said when I made the decision to come back, we want the Razorbacks to be among the elite teams nationally. Everyone knows ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a part of an Arkansas team in a game like this and I'm thrilled for the opportunity. I know our fans will be in New Orleans to support us."
Junior defensive end Jake Bequette is no less excited about the invitation.
"This means everything," he stated. "Our fans are the best in the country and have been with the program through it all. It is an honor to represent them in the first BCS appearance in school history. Playing Ohio State will be a challenge, but we look forward to a great game against a program with such a great tradition."
In addition to the 10-2 mark, the Hogs had their second-best finish in their 18-year history with the SEC, 6-2. And enjoyed wins over four teams ranked in the BCS Top 25. Arkansas fell a spot in the latest poll from as Oklahoma won the Big XII Championship Game over Oklahoma while the Hogs were idle. Arkansas' losses came to BCS No. 1 Auburn and No. 16 Alabama.
Ohio State is 11-1 and in familiar territory. Their single loss came at Wisconsin, the No. 4 team in the BCS ranking. The Buckeyes have won 11 games 4 of the past 5 seasons, and they have won at least 10 the past 6.
"We are proud of Coach Bobby Petrino, the football staff and especially our football student-athletes for their outstanding accomplishments this season," UA Athletic Director Jeff Long said. "Thanks to their hard work and efforts, a large and passionate following of Razorback fans will once again be 'Calling the Hogs' in New Orleans."
The game kicks off on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. (CST). It will be nationally televised by ESPN.