With the loss to Rutgers this past weekend, the Arkansas Razorbacks fall to 3-1 with eight games left to play.
With that being said, most Arkansas fans would argue that six wins and a bowl game would justify this first year under head coach Bret Bielema as being a successful one. After the loss to Rutgers, getting to six wins would be an even more impressive accomplishment, especially because of the upcoming SEC schedule. If they fail to reach the six win mark, it will be two years in a row that the Razorbacks miss out on postseason play.
As hard as it is to predict now much this team will grow or what injuries may occur, basically the only way to see if Arkansas has a chance at making a bowl game is to go through game by game and evaluate the matchups.
Here’s a look at Arkansas’ upcoming schedule to get an easier look to see how the games could turn out.
- September 28- vs. #10 Texas A&M 3-1 (0-1) Fayetteville, AR
- October 5- at #20 Florida 2-1 (1-0) Gainesville, FL
- October 12- vs #12 South Carolina 2-1 (1-1) Fayetteville, AR
- October 19- at #1 Alabama 3-0 (1-0) Tuscaloosa, AL
- November 2- vs. Auburn 3-1 (1-1) Fayetteville, AR
- November 9- at #21 Ole Miss 3-0 (1-0) Oxford, MS
- November 23- vs. Mississippi State 2-2 (0-1) Little Rock, AR
- November 29- at #6 LSU 4-0 (1-0) Baton Rouge, LA
As you can see from these upcoming games, Arkansas might have the toughest remaining schedule in the country. This makes it even harder to try and find a chance at the next victory.
The opportunities for three more wins and a bowl game seem highly unlikely, but not impossible.
Two games that most will see as potential wins are Auburn and Mississippi State at home. Auburn, who looks better every week, is still coming off of a horrendous season last year and is transitioning into the Gus Malzahn era. MSU is continuing their trend of being a bottom-dweller in the SEC West, but have been putting up good numbers on offense.
Even if Arkansas does get victories over those two teams they still have to upset someone else to receive a bowl bid.
Texas A&M comes to town this weekend and brings their terrible rush defense which the Razorbacks should take advantage of. They also bring the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and it’s doubtful that the Hogs stop him.
Florida just lost their starting quarterback Jeff Driskel to a broken leg for the season, but the Hogs go to The Swamp where they never have success.
Arkansas has had the Gamecocks’ number when they come to Fayetteville, boasting an 8-2 record against them at home since both teams joined the league in 1992. South Carolina is good again this year, but maybe the Hogs can surprise them with a tough game.
The Razorbacks travel to Alabama this year to play the Tide. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said about this game.
Despite the awful season last year, Arkansas lost to Ole Miss on a last second field goal, and while the Rebels offense looks good early, their defense looks vulnerable so this may be another shot at a win.
You can always count on the LSU game to be an exciting and close one no matter what record the teams have. However, since Cam Cameron took over the offensive coordinating job, the Tigers look nearly unstoppable in their first four games and seem like they’re destined for a title run.
So can the Hogs make a bowl game?
After watching the meltdown in the Rutgers game it seems out of reach. Arkansas will be lucky to even win two more games on their remaining schedule, but I think they do just that and pull out a 5-7 record and pull an upset off against one of the ranked opponents they play.
If there’s one thing for certain it’s that the Arkansas football team will more than likely be the underdog in every single game from here on out. But that’s exactly what Bielema wants his team to be as it is motivates the players to prove the critics wrong.