FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas is coming off a 9-4 season and ESPN along with others have already declared they will face the toughest schedule in the nation again this fall.
Here’s an attempt to predict the outcome of each Arkansas game during the regular season.
Saturday, Sept. 3, Cincinnati, Fayetteville — The Bearcats made it to the College Football Playoffs last season where they lost to Alabama. The Hogs will get them on what will likely be a very hot Saturday afternoon in Fayetteville with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff. Prediction: Arkansas wins 1-0
Saturday, Sept. 10, South Carolina, Fayetteville — The Gamecocks look to be improved over last season’s 7-6 season. They added some talented transfers including quarterback Spencer Rattler from Oklahoma. This game will kickoff at 11 a.m. Prediction: Arkansas wins 2-0
Saturday, Sept. 17, Missouri State, Fayetteville — Bobby Petrino rolls back into Razorback Stadium on the opposite sideline. Petrino will have his team fired up and ready to play. They played a very good Oklahoma State very close last season. Prediction: Arkansas wins 3-0
Saturday, Sept. 24, Texas A&M, Arlington, Texas — The Hogs beat the Aggies last season for the first time since Petrino was coaching the Razorbacks. Much debate has gone into who is the second-best team in the SEC West behind Alabama. This game will help determine that. Prediction: Arkansas wins 4-0
Saturday, Oct. 1, Alabama, Fayetteville — The Crimson Tide have owned Arkansas since Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa. Just like they did against A&M last season, Arkansas will eventually break this streak. Will it be this season? Prediction: Alabama defeats Arkansas 4-1
Saturday, Oct. 8, Mississippi State, Starkville, Miss. — The first true road game of the season for Arkansas and it’s at a tough place to win. The Bulldogs are set to start their third year under Mike Leach. Prediction: Mississippi State defeats Arkansas 4-2
Saturday, Oct. 15, BYU, Provo, Utah — This is the best non-conference team Arkansas has played since Sam Pittman became coach. BYU has virtually its entire starting lineup back from last season missing only two starters. Prediction: BYU defeats Arkansas 4-3
Saturday, Oct. 29, Auburn, Auburn, Ala. — The Razorbacks get Auburn following a bye week and a tough stretch in their schedule. Pittman is 0-2 against Auburn. Prediction: Arkansas wins 5-3
Saturday, Nov. 5, Liberty, Fayetteville — Hugh Freeze brings his squad into Fayetteville in hopes of pulling off a big upset. Freeze was successful at Ole Miss and has been at Liberty as well. Prediction: Arkansas wins 6-3
Saturday, Nov. 12, LSU, Fayetteville — Brian Kelly will be visiting Arkansas for the first time as head coach at LSU. He has a couple of former Razorback defensive backs on his team. Should be a very good game. Pittman is 1-1 against LSU with each team winning on the road. Prediction: Arkansas wins 7-3
Saturday, Nov. 19, Ole Miss, Fayetteville — Lane Kiffin and Pittman are 1-1 against each other. Arkansas defeated them in 2020 in Razorback Stadium then lost a heartbreaker to the Rebels in Oxford last season. Ole Miss finished second in the SEC West last year with the Hogs third. This should be a great game. Prediction: Arkansas wins 8-3
Friday, Nov. 25, Missouri, Columbia, Mo. — Arkansas snapped a losing streak that was mostly against Barry Odom-coached teams last season when they blasted the Tigers in Fayetteville. Arkansas is hoping to start its own streak against Eliah Drinkwitz and the Tigers. Prediction: Arkansas wins 9-3
Few keys to schedule:
Arkansas really needs to be no worse than 3-1 after September considering how tough October is to them.
I suspect the Hogs will lose at least one of these three games, Auburn, Mississippi State and Texas A&M.
BYU is much better than the Texas team Arkansas beat in Fayetteville last season.