It's the last stand for the Big Ten, and the perception of the conference, battered by a New Year's Day shellacking, hangs in the balance.
But it's not going to be a Big Easy Win (Big Easy, New Orleans...see what I did there?). Ohio State enters the Sugar Bowl embroiled in controversy, and still trying to restore a reputation battered largely at the hands of the SEC. QB Terrelle Pryor had his best game as a Buckeye on his biggest stage in last year's Rose Bowl, but too often he hasn't come through when OSU has needed him to take his game to the next level. Can he do it against an average Arkansas defense?
Arkansas is a solid football team, lead by Michigan expatriate Ryan Mallett. The rocket armed Mallett has back to back 30 TD pass seasons and a big payday coming in the NFL, but has a penchant for giving up the interception when put under duress. The Ohio State defense is one of the best in the country, but they don't have a lot of sacks, and this will be one of the toughest tests for the Buckeyes
A convincing win by OSU over Arkansas, and the conference bowl season as a whole will be viewed through a better lens as we head into the off-season. OSU's redemption will be close to complete, and they can finally get that SEC monkey...which has become a 600 pound gorilla...off their back.
And depending on what happens to LSU and Auburn, it might help to alter perceptions in general and start the long road back after the New Year's Day debacle.
But a loss? Well, let me use what we like to call an analogy. Thanks to You Tube and Inferior German Design:
Enjoy the game, kids.