GAME 11: ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
Installment number seven takes us to Hogville.
Coach: Sam Pittman (3-7 in one season at Arky)
2021 record: 3-7 (3-7 in SEC, T–6th in the West Division)
CB969 2020 Prediction: 1-9
Looking back: In Pittman’s debut season as a college head coach, he snapped the Hogs’ 20-game SEC skid that went back to the 2017 season under Bret Bielema with an upset at fraudulent No. 16 Mississippi State in Week 2. They would also top Ole Miss and Tennessee to reach 3-3 before reality came home in the form of a four-game losing streak.
Returning starters: 7 on offense, 9 on defense, punter.
Key losses: DT Jonathan Marshall, (Round 6, Jets), QB Feleipe Franks, CB Jerry Jacobs, RB Rakeem Boyd, WR Mike Woods (transfer to Oklahoma), DL Isaiah Nichols.
Top returnees: WR Treylon Burks, WR Trey Knox, QB KJ Jefferson, RB Trelon Smith, TE Hudson Henry, C Ricky Stromberg, LB: Grant Morgan, DB Jalen Catalon, OL Myron Cunningham, LB Bumper Pool.
Top newcomers: projected starting DL John Ridgeway (transfer from Illinois State), projected starting DE Tre Williams (from Missouri), DL Markell Utsey (from Missouri), former 4-star OT Ty’kieast Crawford (from Charlotte).
Name you need to know: After languishing on the bench at Arizona State for two years, Trelon Smith transferred in and unseated Rakeem Boyd as starting running back, making his ass quit the team. Smith finished with 710 yards and 5 scores and gave Hogs fans some hope for the future.
Strengths: Nine returning starters on defense... Coordinators Kendal Briles and Barry Odom are both back... Offensive line should be solid...
Weaknesses: Only six assistants stuck around for Year 2... No incoming freshmen are expected to make any impact... Defensive line is thin... Need to find a new placekicker... Losing starting WR Mike Woods after the spring game hurt (and smells of tampering by Okie)... Did Pittman use up all his inspirational speeches?
Outlook: Let’s face it: 2020 was a weird season for a LOT of teams. Arky and Pittman started out strong and were the talk of the town. The big conversations were about how this gambling fly-around-the-field defense perplexed SEC offenses. But then the Razorbacks reverted back to doing Razorbacks things. They finished 106th in total defense and 97th in scoring defense. Was Pittman’s success just “New Coach Fever” after the nightmare of deficient Chad Morris? Can the 59-year old duplicate his early success and build on it? The jury just ordered the surf and turf, so they might out for awhile.
Win Total Odds
Over 6 +100
Under 6 -125
Sat, Sep 4 vs Rice 1:00 PM SECN - W
Sat, Sep 11 vs Texas 6:00 PM ESPN - L
Sat, Sep 18 vs Georgia Southern 3:00 PM SECN - W
Sat, Sep 25 vs Texas A&M * - L - Why does Arky agree to keep playing this game at a “neutral” site?
Sat, Oct 2 @ Georgia - L
Sat, Oct 9 @ Ole Miss - L - This one could easily go the other way but home field advantage helps OM.
Sat, Oct 16 vs Auburn - L - This is a tough one to call. It’s in Fayetteville against a rebuilding team, but Aubie just seems to have the Pigs’ number.
Sat, Oct 23 vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff - W
Sat, Nov 6 vs Mississippi State - W - Another toss up but home field advantage to Arky.
Sat, Nov 13 @ LSU - L
Sat, Nov 20 @ Alabama - L
Fri, Nov 26 vs Missouri 2:30 PM CBS - L - Drink > Pitt
* Arlington, TX
Regular season wins for Arky in 2021:
This poll is closed
8 or more (and I still have a shot at Margot Robbie)
3 or less, back to the drawing board.
ALABAMA SCHEDULE PREVIEWS:
Sep 4 vs Miami* 2:30 PM CT, ABC
Sep 11 vs Mercer 3:00 PM CT, SECN
Sep 18 @ Florida 2:30 PM CT, CBS
Sep 25 vs Southern Miss
Oct 2 vs Ole Miss
Oct 9 @ Texas A&M
Oct 16 @ Mississippi State
Oct 23 vs Tennessee
Oct 30 bye
Nov 6 vs LSU
Nov 13 vs New Mexico State
Nov 20 vs Arkansas
Nov 27 @ Auburn