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Predicting the 2018 SEC Football Season: Arkansas Razorbackwards

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Moving backwards.

Arkansas v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I gotta be honest. I’m going to miss ol’ punching bag Bert being in Fayetteville. But Bielema just could not get things going. It is a tough place to recruit and Arky is not a fertile state for football prospects. The winning move for the program would have been to hire a dynamic coach with a history of winning. Instead, the Razorbacks fired Bert as well as their NCAA-powerful AD, and hired a long-time high school coach who had mild success at SMU. Granted, he improved each season (2-10, 5-7, 7-5) but this is NOT the kind of guy needed to take an SEC team back to relevancy.

Coach: Chad Morris (14–22 in 3 years at SMU; 0-0 record at Arky)

2017 record: 4-8 (1-7 in SEC, Last in West Division)

CB969 2017 Prediction: 7-5...It may be the end of the road for ol’ Bert in Fayetteville if he cannot work some magic...” [Spoiler: He couldn’t.]

Looking back: It was nothing short of a disaster for the Hogs in 2017. Wins over FAMU, New Mexico State, and one point Ws each over Coastal Carolina and a reeling Ole Miss were the highlights.

Returning starters: 8 on offense, 6 on defense, kicker, punter.

Key losses: C Frank Ragnow (Round 1, Lions), RB David Williams (Round 7, Broncos), CB Henre’ Toliver, QB Austin Allen, projected starting OL Zach Rogers (graduated with year of eligibility, got married, moving on), OC Dan Enos.

Top returnees: QB Cole Kelley, OL Hjalte Froholdt, LB De’Jon Harris, RB Devwah Whaley, RB Chase Hayden, LB Dre Greenlaw, S Santos Ramirez, K Connor Limpert, WR Jared Cornelius, CB Ryan Pulley (2016 starter injured in first half of first game in 2017, missed the rest of the season).

Top newcomers: DE Dorian Gerald (juco), LB Bumper Pool (yes, that is his real name), DB Myles Mason, DC John Chavis (has he lost his magic?).

Name you need to know: Hjalte Froholdt (pronounced “YEL-te FRO-holt”) is a cool story. Originally from Denmark, he came to America as an exchange student prior to his sophomore year of high school with very little knowledge of American football. He thought he would give the sport a try as a way to make friends and found he was pretty good at it. After a brief return to Denmark, he enrolled at IMG Football Factory Academy where he transformed into a 4-star prospect. He has started 25 games over the last two seasons at guard and will likely be drafted into the NFL in 2019.

Strengths: QB Cole Kelley played well in relief of Allen last season... Arky always seems to have decent running backs; Whaley and Hayden should prove capable... Returning several WRs... Having a kicker and punter returning is good but neither of them are all that outstanding... Many returning starters...

Weaknesses: Many returning starters are not all that good to begin with... Bare cupboard... Playing in the SEC West... No real playmakers on either side of the ball... Lack of enthusiasm around the program...

Outlook: If you haven’t picked up on it, I feel Morris was a very poor hire for Arkansas, especially with names like Gustavo Malzahn, Mike Leach, Mike Norvell, Neal Brown, Charlie Strong, etc. floating around. The Hogs sink lower into the depths of the SEC West sub-basement.

2018 SCHEDULE:

Sat, Sept 1 vs Eastern Illinois - W
Sat, Sept 8 @ Colorado State - W - On the road, it won’t be easy.
Sat, Sept 15 vs North Texas - W - An improved Mean Green will put up a fight.
Sat, Sept 22 @ Auburn - L
Sat, Sept 29 vs Texas A&M (JerryWorld) - L - Aggies have won 6 straight. Make it 7.
Sat, Oct 6 vs Alabama - L - Mac Jones will get plenty of reps.
Sat, Oct 13 vs Ole Miss - L - Arky has had troubles playing in Little Rock lately.
Sat, Oct 20 vs Tulsa - W
Sat, Oct 27 vs Vanderbilt - W - Take the home team.
Sat, Nov 3 bye
Sat, Nov 10 vs LSU - L
Sat, Nov 17 @ Mississippi State - L
Fri, Nov 23 @ Missouri - L - The Tigers will score at will.

Let’s go Bowling! Nope. Arkansas has descended to the ninth circle of Hell and it’s a long way out.

Poll

Regular Season Wins for Arky:

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    8 or more.
    (12 votes)
  • 12%
    7
    (48 votes)
  • 28%
    6
    (108 votes)
  • 30%
    5
    (118 votes)
  • 24%
    4 or less.
    (95 votes)
381 votes total Vote Now

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