FAYETTEVILLE — Fresh off a 9-4 season and win in the Outback Bowl the Hogs have completed spring drills with the attention turning to summer work and then the 2022 football season.
As usual, the Razorbacks have a challenging schedule. The non-conference portion of the schedule, at least on paper, appears much more challenging than last season. Arkansas went 4-0 outside the SEC in the regular season last fall. They defeated Texas 40-21 which was expected to be the most challenging game. They also handled Rice, Georgia Southern and UAPB handily.
One break in the schedule is South Carolina has replaced Georgia. The Gamecocks aren’t a breather by any stretch of the imagination, but anyone of the SEC East replacing Georgia would be at least a little break for the Hogs or any other team.
With that said, here’s a prediction for each game this fall.
Saturday, Sept. 3 — Cincinnati, Fayetteville
The Bearcats are coming off a 13-1 season that saw them lose to Alabama in the College Football Playoff. The Bearcats had nine players drafted by NFL teams. They will be talented again despite all those losses. Prediction: Arkansas wins (1-0)
Saturday, Sept. 10 — South Carolina, Fayetteville
South Carolina has an improving program. They finished 7-6 last season with a 3-5 mark in the SEC. They made some nice coaching hires including Justin Stepp from Arkansas to coach the wide receivers. They added some nice transfers from the portal as well. Will be a tough game. Prediction: Arkansas wins (2-0)
Saturday, Sept. 17 — Missouri State, Fayetteville
Bobby Petrino will have his team ready to play. Petrino is one of the best coaches in college football and always has his team prepared. Missouri State will come into the game with the attitude of they think they can beat the Hogs. Prediction: Arkansas wins (3-0)
Saturday, Sept. 24 — vs. Texas A&M, Arlington, Texas (AT&T Stadium)
Speaking of Petrino, Arkansas defeated the Aggies last year for the first time since he was the head coach at Arkansas. Sam Pittman is now 1-1 against the Aggies with the lone loss coming in College Station. This is a neutral site and Arkansas fans travel well to Jerry Jones’ palace. This one is a tough one. Prediction: Arkansas loses (3-1)
Saturday, Oct. 1 — Alabama, Fayetteville
You think it took the Hogs a long time after Petrino left to beat the Aggies, Arkansas hasn’t beaten Alabama since Houston Nutt was the coach. Petrino, Bret Bielema and Pittman all had some close games, but still no victories to show for it. Will that change this year? I don’t think so, but Pittman will beat Nick Saban at some point. Stranger things have happened than Hogs winning this year. Prediction: Arkansas loses (3-2)
Saturday, Oct. 8 — At Mississippi State, Starkville
Pittman is 2-0 against Mike Leach and the Bulldogs. The big win in Starkville in 2020 was Arkansas’ first SEC win since 2017. The Hogs defeated them in Fayetteville last year as well. This, like all SEC games, should be a good one. Prediction: Arkansas wins (4-2)
Saturday, Oct. 15 — At BYU, Provo, Utah
BYU has a very good team with most of the squad returning from 2021. This will be one of Arkansas’ toughest games including the ones in the SEC. Long trip and could be hard one to win. Prediction: Arkansas loses (4-3)
Saturday, Oct. 29 — At Auburn, Auburn, Ala.
Pittman is 0-2 against the Tigers including a very controversial ending in 2020 in the same stadium this year’s game will be. I felt like Auburn caught the Hogs at the right time last season, but with a bye week for the Hogs this year prior to the game the story may end differently. Prediction: Arkansas wins (5-3)
Saturday, Nov. 5 — Liberty, Fayetteville
Liberty’s quarterback will be teaming up with Arkansas’ Treylon Burks with the Tennessee TItans when these two teams meet. Liberty fell to Ole Miss last season in its only SEC game. They will be a dangerous team again this season despite some key losses. Prediction: Arkansas wins (6-3)
Saturday, Nov. 12 — LSU, Fayetteville
Arkansas won this game in Baton Rouge last fall and LSU won the one in Fayetteville the previous season. I think this year they get back to the home field being more of an advantage. Prediction: Arkansas wins (7-3)
Saturday, Nov. 19 — Ole Miss, Fayetteville
Pittman is 1-1 against Lane Kiffin. Arkansas won two years ago in Fayetteville. Last year’s game in Oxford went down to the final play when Arkansas went for a two-point conversion that failed, but if successful would have given them the victory. Prediction: Arkansas wins (8-3)
Friday, Nov. 25 — At Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
Arkansas finally defeated Missouri last fall. Barry Odom was undefeated against the Hogs and then Eli Drinkwitz defeated them in Columbia during the 2020 season. Last year, Pittman, Odom and the Razorbacks got some revenge with a big win in Fayetteville. Prediction: Arkansas wins (9-3)