In preparation for Saturday’s SEC West standoff between Texas A&M and Arkansas, Saturday Down South is taking a look at the key matchup that may decide the showdown between the Aggies and Razorbacks.

Texas A&M LT Cedric Ogbuehi vs. Arkansas DE Trey Flowers

The Arkansas offensive line gets all sorts of love, while praise for Texas A&M generally flows to coach Kevin Sumlin, quarterback Kenny Hill, offensive coordinator Jake Spavital and then perhaps to the receivers.

But the Aggies offensive line is among the best in the country, as evidenced by a potential Top 10 NFL draft pick at left tackle for an unprecedented third consecutive season.

Unwanted by Texas coach Mack Brown and described by his brother as “sloppy” as a pudgy high school freshman, Ogbuehi has transformed himself first into a certifiable SEC starter and then into a left tackle.

The consensus on Ogbuehi as an NFL prospect is that he still needs to develop some grown-man strength and continue to distance himself from his baby fat, out-of-shape days. He’s been a little passive at times in the past as well.

Flowers, an OK pass rusher, is a man’s man against the run. He’s 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, and a potential All-SEC performer at defensive end. He is second on the team with four tackles for loss and third on the team with 22 tackles.

Ogbuehi is athletic and powerful, having played guard earlier in his career at Texas A&M, and can get to the second level to run-block.

The Aggies’ undersized backs run the ball much more effectively, and much more often, than many realize. (Again, the offensive line probably doesn’t get enough credit.) Hill has thrown for 13 touchdowns this season, while A&M also has 13 rushing touchdowns. Texas A&M averages 6.3 yards per carry. That’s pretty tremendous.

For all the talk about Arkansas deploying a ball-control strategy, I wonder if Texas A&M may try to do the same to keep the Razorbacks off the field. A&M gladly accepted eight-yard gains all the way down the field against SMU as the Mustangs strategized to avoid giving up explosive plays. A big part of that would require A&M to run the ball effectively.

Flowers is the biggest deterrent to that equation.

If the NFL Draft were tomorrow, it’s likely that Ogbuehi would be a Top 10 pick, while Flowers would go in second or third round. But which player will win the matchup Saturday? It could affect their NFL futures, but it certainly will affect the outcome in Arlington.