FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas entered the bye week 2-3 and having lost its last two games.
That’s the bad news, the good news is Arkansas could have won all five games. They have been competitive in all the games with all five coming down to the fourth quarter.
More bad news is the schedule gets more difficult. There’s only one non-conference team remaining on the schedule with the other six being SEC games.
That’s why Arkansas needed to have a strong September because of the difficulty in the schedule in October. Losing to San Jose State wasn’t something anyone saw coming.
When the schedule came out, the thought was Arkansas would win its three non-conference games in September (one was in August), probably lose to Texas A&M and then beat either Ole Miss or Kentucky before getting into a grind of ranked teams. That would have gotten Arkansas to 4-2.
But losses to Ole Miss, San Jose State and Texas A&M now make the Kentucky game a must-win situation. That would get Arkansas to 3-3.
So, if the Hogs got to 3-3 could they still salvage the season? Absolutely and here’s how. Assuming the Razorbacks beat Kentucky they would then very likely lose to Auburn and Alabama to finish out October. That would leave them at 3-5 heading into November.
But back to good news the November schedule isn’t as brutal as October. Assuming Arkansas is 3-5 heading into November, they would need to beat Mississippi State (Nov. 2) and Western Kentucky (Nov. 9). That would even the slate at 5-5. Despite having two weeks to prepare for LSU the chances of a victory are slim. So if LSU beats Arkansas that puts the Hogs at 5-6 heading into the last game of the season.
Arkansas will take on Missouri in Little Rock on Black Friday. Considering where Arkansas is at right now, the chance to get to a bowl in the final week of the season would be a very good scenario.
Whether Arkansas can get to five wins prior to the Missouri game is unknown, but if they can they would certainly have a lot to play for in that game. Last year, Arkansas didn’t play with much emotion or effort in Columbia to close out the season. Missouri can’t go to a bowl game this season so they might not be as inspired to play in what will likely be a very cold game in Little Rock as the Hogs.
Who knows if any of this will happen, but there is a path for the Hogs to show fans and recruits they have made vast improvement over 2018 and the future is bright. Now can Arkansas make that scenario play out? Time will tell.