The Arkansas Razorbacks are a quality football program and one of only a handful of teams that have a realistic chance of going undefeated in the upcoming college football season.
With a daunting schedule and plenty of off-the-field distractions, the Hogs will have to rally together to finish the season without a loss. If the Razorbacks are to pull of this feat, they will have to avoid many pitfalls throughout the campaign. The odds of any team going undefeated are out of this world, but for the Razorbacks, they are near impossible.
No team has had to deal with more off-the-field distractions more than the Razorbacks.
In this offseason, they lost their head coach and had to endure the arrests and release of several players on the team. Now it’s all up to a new head coach in John L. Smith to get this team ready and focused for the upcoming season.
Luckily for Smith, he has one of the best signal-callers in college football running his offense.
Tyler Wilson will be a Heisman contender this season, and he will be one of the best quarterbacks in the country. With a strong backfield duo of Knile Davis and Dennis Johnson, the Razorbacks offense should pick up where it left off a year ago and lead the SEC in several offensive categories.
This explosive offense will be one of the main reasons the Razorbacks are competitive and have a realistic shot of going undefeated.
Like most of the big schools, the Razorbacks have several winnable games on their schedule.
Barring a nightmarish start, the Razorbacks should be 2-0 out of the gate, as they start the season with games against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks and the ULM Warhawks. Unfortunately for the Hogs, the “easy” games stop after the second week.
The schedule is littered with difficult opponents, but the Razorbacks do have the luxury of hosting many of the top teams in conference.
When the schedule was originally released, the Arkansas fanbase circled two games.
Those two games are against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers. The Razorbacks have the fortunate stance of playing both games at D.W.R. Razorback Stadium at Fayetteville, but it will be a tough task to go 2-0 against two of the toughest teams in college football.
Beating one of these juggernauts will be impressive, and beating both would surely make for an unforgettable college football season.
The college football season is very long, and quite often, teams look past inferior opponents on their schedule. If the Razorbacks are not careful, they could easily get a loss by not taking an opponent seriously or looking past them.
If the Razorbacks were to beat the Crimson Tide, the game the following week against Rutgers could provide a letdown. The Hogs would be off a monstrous victory and have a game against Texas A&M on deck, leaving them vulnerable for a letdown.
The second potential letdown game is in Starkville against Mississippi State. Starkville is a difficult venue, and the Razorbacks could have one eye on the big game to end the season against LSU.
My prediction for Arkansas is a respectable 10-2 season.
The Razorbacks have plenty of talent, and with Tyler Wilson at the helm, don’t be surprised if they spend some time ranked in the top five at some point in the season. However, going undefeated is just too much to ask of the 2012 Razorbacks.