By Otis Kirk
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas is coming off a 3-7 season which included strictly SEC games, but this fall appears headed back to some sense of normalcy.
The Hogs are slated to play at 12-game schedule with the normal four non-conference games and back to eight SEC contests.
This will be Sam Pittman’s second season at Arkansas. The Hogs were very close to winning three other games they lost.
Here’s a look at the Arkansas schedule this fall and prediction for each game.
Sept. 4, Rice, Fayetteville — My first prediction is this will be one of the hottest games this fall. The kickoff is set for 1 p.m. This is an old Southwest Conference rival. Prediction: Arkansas (1-0)
Sept. 11, Texas, Fayetteville — Just like Rice, this is a pair of former SWC rivals. The Longhorns were the team fans loved to hate and many still do. Texas won the majority of time against Arkansas, but the Razorbacks have had better luck against them since joining the SEC. The Hogs won the last meeting between the two in the Texas Bowl. Prediction: Arkansas (2-0)
Sept. 18, Georgia Southern, Fayetteville — Think of North Texas, San Jose State, Colorado State and some others in recent years. This is a dangerous game for Arkansas. They were 8-5 in 2020 and beat a pretty good Louisiana Tech team 38-3 in a bowl game. Prediction: Arkansas (3-0)
Sept. 25, Texas A&M, Arlington, Texas — This series has produced some tight games in recent years, but the Aggies have dominated the Hogs since joining the SEC. This will be a designated home game for the Razorbacks. One of these days the Hogs will beat them, but I don’t think it will be this year. Prediction: Arkansas Loses (3-1)
Oct. 2, at Georgia, Athens, Ga. — Pittman takes his team to a place he is very familiar with. Pittman was the offensive line coach for the Bulldogs when hired to replace Chad Morris at Arkansas. Prediction: Arkansas Loses (3-2)
Oct. 9, at Ole Miss, Oxford, Miss. — This will be a battle. The Hogs took this game in 2020 as the Arkansas defense made it a very long day for the Ole Miss quarterback. Pittman and the Hogs had success in Mississippi last fall when they went into Starkville and defeated Mississippi State. This one is tough to predict. Prediction: Arkansas Loses (3-3)
Oct. 16, Auburn, Fayetteville — Arkansas should have won this game last season at Auburn. An unbelievable blown call at the end of the game allowed Auburn to escape with the win. Prediction: Arkansas (4-3)
Oct. 23, UAPB, Little Rock — The Hogs will battle an in-state opponent at War Memorial. This should be an easy win for the Hogs. Prediction: Arkansas (5-3)
Nov. 6, Mississippi State, Fayetteville — Arkansas surprised a lot of people around college football last fall when they went into Starkville and beat a MSU team that had just blown out LSU in Baton Rouge. The Bulldogs got better as the season progressed. Prediction: Arkansas (6-3)
Nov. 13, at LSU, Baton Rouge, La. — A depleted defensive line was about the only thing that prevented Arkansas from defeating LSU last fall in Fayetteville. How good will LSU be this season? Some think great and others are very skeptical. I could see this game going either way. Prediction: Arkansas Loses (6-4)
Nov. 20, at Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala. — It has been a long time since the Hogs beat the Tide. And it will probably will be a little while longer before it happens again. Prediction: Arkansas Loses (6-5)
Nov. 26, Missouri, Fayetteville — This game returns to Black Friday. Missouri has amazingly dominated this series since the two started playing. Don’t expect that to continue this year. Prediction: Arkansas (7-5)
So the prediction is for Arkansas to go 7-5 this fall.