BATON ROUGE, La. — Arkansas is a very good football team, but not nearly good enough.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Arkansas is a very good football team, but not nearly good enough.

Against the two teams considered the best in the country, the Razorbacks came up far short — 24 points vs. both LSU on Friday and Alabama in September.

Two straight 10-win seasons and, even more impressively, two consecutive 6-2 records in the Southeastern Conference, is noteworthy. Twenty years in the SEC and Arkansas had never bested .500 in league play two years in a row.

The damper is that Arkansas is in the Western Division of the SEC, where LSU finished 8-0 this year, one season after Auburn turned the trick.

The LSU 41, Arkansas 17 final on Friday was a bit deceptive, but when Arkansas began to fade, the downhill slide was greased.

On the 45-yard drive that made it 31-17, LSU knocked the Razorbacks off the line of scrimmage time after time. The possession began after defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who had about as much to do with the outcome as schizo quarterback Jordan Jefferson, fielded a punt on the first hop and returned it 16 yards.

From there, running plays netted gains of 6 yards, 3, 1 and 6. At that point, the LSU coaches must have sensed that Arkansas was on the ropes. How else to explain asking Jefferson to throw into the end zone?

The incomplete pass was only a bump. Kenny Hilliard pounded inside for 5 yards and the first down. From the 24, it was runs of 10, 7 and 7.

At that point, I remembered a sign displayed on the stadium’s big screen just before half: “Arkansas. The fantasy is over.”

It was a heckuva run.

Just as baffling as the deep pass on second down was Jefferson chunking in the fourth quarter with a 21-point lead. The Tigers have been No. 1 in the Bowl Championship Series standings since they were released and there is no way to improve on the perfect 1.000 rating this week.

So good at producing big plays the past several weeks, Arkansas’ offense had one long gainer against the Tigers — a 60-yarder by Cobi Hamilton after he caught a short pass and got to the sideline. Arkansas reached the LSU 8 but Brandon Mitchell, subbing for Tyler Wilson, dropped the snap for a 6-yard loss and Wilson returned to misfire on third down.

Arkansas’ longest run was 11 yards and the three running backs only produced 70 yards on 19 attempts. No receiver caught more than three passes and Hamilton’s catch was the only one of more than 20 yards.

At Tuscaloosa, Adams, Chris Gragg, and Jarius Wright had four or more catches and none of the three averaged as much as 8 yards per reception.

There are limits when a defense is solid from front to back and the cornerbacks are proficient against the pass.

The Razorbacks had the ball 9:55 in the first quarter, less than 13 minutes the rest of the way. On third down, Arkansas was 6 of 13, but four of those conversions came in the first quarter.

LSU’s defense and running game did not surprise me; Jefferson did. He gunned passes, including several across the field, and was 5 of 6 on the touchdown drive that made it 21-14 just before half.

Booed by his own fans early on, he followed a touch throw with a dopey interception in the third quarter.

The Tigers might be good enough to win the BCS title despite his erratic play.

Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau. Email: hking@arkansasnews.com.