Because this is a weekly newspaper today is the last chance to do the prognostication column mandated for membership in the sports column writers association.
It’s not that I’ve been waiting on practice, injury reports or anything that might lead me to a more educated guess. No, I simply have been too involved with fantasy football – as my Internet log will attest – and the pending high school football season.
But, like I said, it’s now or never so here goes.
Aug. 30 at Auburn. Rather than an appetizer it is the national runner-up of a year ago – in other words the SEC did not win a title. Okay, Arkansas was in the game a year ago in Faytetteville. They are better. Auburn is probably nowhere near where they were, even at that time, especially with a suspension of Nick Marshall. Still, going Tigers 33-13.
Sept. 6, Nicholls State. There’s the give-me. Bret’s 10-game losing streak ends in convincing fashion, 40-14.
Sept. 13 at Texas Tech. I really, really want to believe this is a winnable game but I just can’t do it. The Red Raiders throw the ball too well and too much for me to go with Arkansas on the road. Tech 34-24.
Sept. 20, Northern Illinois. Just like I really wanted to pick Arkansas in the last paragraph I really, really want to pick NIU in this one, but alas, I cannot do that either. Arkansas wins at home, 27-18.
Sept. 27, at Texas A&M. Unlike some I don’t’ expect the Aggies to reload. Minus Johnny Football I really think A&M will become another also ran in the SEC West but I also expect them to win this one, 28-20.
So into the first by week at 2-3, there is work to be done.
Oct. 11, Alabama. The game shouldn’t be anywhere near 52 again, but the talent game is there nonetheless. Still I expect the Hogs to play over their head for a while, but fall 24-13.
Oct. 18, Georgia at Little Rock. Some expect the Dogs to win the East, but then when has that not been true. Still letting these dogs out is not much of a song, 31-6.
Oct. 25, UAB. Third straight home game, sort of, and yes, third is the charm and a much needed 35-10 shot in the arm for Hogs.
Nov. 1, at Mississippi State. The win-o-meter moves for the second straight week. Yes, I’m taking Porkers in an upset, on the road, and, what the heck, by one of my favorite scores, 31-26. First SEC win for Bielema with one of his favorite plays, the fake punt, working to perfection this time against the Bulldogs.
Nov. 15, LSU. After a second well place bye week – which doesn’t count toward bowl eligibility – reality is what it is – brutally honest – and Arkansas is what it is, not quite there. Tigers escape Hogs again, 27-23.
Nov. 22, Ole Miss. You heard it here first. I’m calling for a win by Bielema over a former Arkansas State coach, and a sweep of the state of Mississippi, 23-21.
Nov. 29, at Missouri. While preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday all week, Arkansas fans have visions of Liberty dancing in their heads. Can they do it? Yes. Will they do it? No. The fake punt rears its ugly head and is a disaster in Columbia. Tigers, who I also feel are eventually destined for also ran status despite their early SEC success, improve their bowl stock while keeping Arkansas out of the postseason, 34-20.