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Predicting the 2015 SEC Football Season: Arkansas Razorbacks

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With less than 25 days until the college football season begins, it's never too early to look at the 2015 football schedules and make wild blind predictions.

BERT!
BERT!
Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Fifth installment in the series takes us to Hogville:

arkansas 115x115

Coach: Bret Bielema (10–15 in two seasons at Arky; 2-14 in SEC)
2014 record: 7-6 (2-6 in SEC, 7th in West Division)
CB969 2014 Prediction: 3-9 OOPS! "Granted Bielema inherited a dumpster fire from Bobby Petrino's scandal and John L. Smith's spectacular one-year face-plant but ol' Bert might be in some SERIOUS trouble in Fayetteville."

Look back: Okay, so I missed the boat on Arky last year. But so did a lot of folks. The Hogs lost their first five SEC games before they broke through with November upsets of #20 LSU and #8 Ole Miss. A close loss at #17 Mizzou, and a 31-7 drubbing of Texas in the Texas Bowl ended their season on a high note.

Key losses: DE Trey Flowers (Patriots, Round 4), LB Martrell Spaight (Redskins, Round 5), DT Darius Philon (Chargers, Round 6), CB Tevin Mitchel (Redskins, Round 6), TE A.J. Derby (Patriots, Round 6), LB Braylon Mitchell, CB Carroll Washington, P Sam Irwin-Hill.
Returning starters: 9 on offense, 5 on defense, and kicker.
Top returnees:
RB Jonathan Williams, RB Alex Collins, TE Hunter Henry, OT Dan Skipper, OG Denver Kirkland, SS Rohan Gaines, CB Jared Collins, and to a lesser extent QB Brandon Allen.
Top newcomers:
DT Hjalte Froholdt (former foreign exchange student from Denmark, IMG Academy-Bradenton, FL), TE C.J. O'Grady (Fayetteville, AR), TE Will Gragg (Dumas, AR), DE Jamario Bell (Junction City, AR).

Strengths: Running game, non-conf schedule.
Weaknesses: Secondary, O-Line depth, linebackers, punting, playing in the SEC West.

Outlook: The Hogs have the great pleasure of returning TWO 1100 yard 12 touchdown running backs in Williams and Collins, not to mention top OL Skipper and Kirkland. It's also nice to have your starting QB back though he won't be wowing any NFL scouts anytime soon. It's the other side of the ball that might have some growing pains. Bert has a lot of holes to fill among the front seven.

2015 Schedule:
Sept 5 UTEP - W
Sept 12 Toledo * - W
Sept 19 Texas Tech - W
Sept 26 Texas A&M ** - W - Though a "neutral" game, the Hogs look better than the Aggies.
Oct 3 at Tennessee - L - This could be a "hangover game" for Arky.
Oct 10 at Alabama - L - Saban is 8-0 vs. the Razorbacks.
Oct 17 off week
Oct 24 Auburn - W - Two weeks to recuperate from the Bama game.
Oct 31 UT-Martin - W
Nov 7 at Ole Miss - L - A tough month begins on the Grove.
Nov 14 at LSU - L - Not sure if this team is ready to win down on the Bayou.
Nov 21 Mississippi State - W
Nov 27 Missouri - W - This could go either way but home field may make the difference.
* Little Rock, AR
**Arlington, TX (Jerry's World)

Let's go Bowling! Yes, Likely somewhere in Florida.

With a soft out-of-conference schedule and home games against weaker SEC teams, Sooie Nation should see their way out of the SEC West basement for the first time under Bert.

* Fun Fact: Due to politicians and the deep pockets of U of A alum in Little Rock, the Razorbacks are still stuck with playing games in the state capitol, a good three hour drive from Fayetteville. [And Bama fans used to complain about going to Birmingham - present company included!] At least now they are down to one game per year and they are paying War Memorial Stadium $400,000 so its football team won't have to make multiple trips to Little Rock each season.

.......

Other previews:

  • "That Throw-Up Orange"
  • UGA Dawgs
  • Missy State Clanga-Clangs
  • Ole Miss Rebel Ackbar Black Bears

    #RollTide