FAYETTEVILLE — The national media has projected all the bowl games and they have Arkansas all over the map from Las Vegas to Tampa and many stops in between.
ESPN’s Kye Bonagura has a very interesting projection for the Hogs. He has the Razorbacks going back to Tampa and playing in the ReliaQuest Bowl (formerly Outback Bowl) and this they would face Illinois coached by Bret Bielema. The Razorbacks beat Penn State in the bowl game last season. Bonagura explained his pick.
“There aren’t many reasons to get genuinely excited to watch a 6-6 SEC team in a bowl game against a mediocre Big Ten team, but if Arkansas gets matched up with Illinois and former Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema, sign me up.”
The ReliaQuest Bowl kicks off at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 2, and is televised on ESPN2 while being played at Raymond James Stadium. Illinois is 8-4 on the season.
Bonagura’s partner at ESPN, Mark Schlabach, may have a more realistic pick for the Razorbacks. He has the Razorbacks in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl against Baylor. The Liberty Bowl is played on Wednesday, Dec. 28, and kicks off at 4:40 p.m. The game is played at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis and televised on ESPN.
CBS agrees with Schlabach also having the Hogs in Memphis against Baylor. The Bears are 6-6 on the season as well. The Sporting News also projects Arkansas to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, but they have them facing Oklahoma. The Sooners are 6-6 this season.
Athlon Sports projects an Arkansas and Oklahoma meeting in a bowl game, but they have it happening in the TaxAct Texas Bowl. That game kicks off at 8 p.m. on ESPN immediately following the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The TaxAct Texas Bowl is played is in Houston and played at NRG Stadium.
College Football News predicts the Hogs face UCLA in the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl. That game is played on Saturday, Dec. 17, in Allegiant Stadium. The game is televised on ABC and kicks off at 6:30 p.m. The Bruins loaded up on transfers prior to the 2022 season and have improved to 9-3.
Sports Illustrated has Arkansas headed to the TransPerfect Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Dec. 31. They have Arkansas facing Iowa. The Hawkeyes are 7-5 this season. That game is played in Nissan Stadium and the kickoff is set for 11 a.m.
Arkansas head football coach Sam Pittman was asked on Friday if he has a preferred bowl game?
“No, not really,” Pittman said. “We’re really fortunate to get bowl eligible. The Las Vegas one is earlier. There’s some recruiting things in that one that you would lose some time there. But other than that, I think the kids would love to go out there and have that time and all that. We’ve got the Liberty Bowl that’s right up the road that we respect the people of the Liberty Bowl and all that. Any of those bowls would be wonderful. You’ve got Texas and you’ve got Music City, any of those would be wonderful, but they’re only good when you win, so we have to get ready to do that.”
It’s worth noting the AutoZone Liberty Bowl had representatives at Arkansas’ games against Liberty and Missouri.