Finally football season is in the air. All around the nation predictions are being made and controversy is starting to strike up. SEC Media Days are in the books and it is time to gear up for the season. Down here in Arkansas, call-in shows are lighting up with their pre-season predictions. Head Coach Bret Bielema will be in his second season at Arkansas and plans to stick to his same game plan as he did his first year, but just “do it better.”
Bielema went 3-9 last season and Bielema is still seeking his first SEC win. This season he has 14 returning starters, seven on both sides of the ball. Jonathan Williams and sophomore Alex Collins, who led all freshmen nationally, last year with 1,026 yards will be key returners Bielema will count on. On the defensive side of the ball, senior defensive end Trey Flowers will be a threat to any opponent this season.
Brandon Allen is the only SEC starting quarterback who failed to complete 50% of his passes last season and will be returning for his junior season. His brother Austin Allen had a good spring but after Allen became better at the end of last season, he clearly is the man for the job this season.
Bielema’s squad got stronger towards the end of season losing by fewer than 10 points in each of its final three games to Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU.
Although Arkansas is getting stronger as a team, I just can’t see Arkansas winning more than 4 or 5 games this season. Five games would be good for Arkansas and somehow if they win six, that would be a great season for Arkansas.
Arkansas opening up with Auburn most likely will be far from pretty and it doesn’t get easy from there. The Hogs have to travel to Lubbock, Texas to take on Texas Tech which I will think will be a lose but close game for the razorbacks.
Nicholls State, Northern Illinois, and UAB could be the only opponents the Razorbacks are favored to defeat this season but I also could see them sneaking up and pulling a win against Texas A&M in Jerry World or maybe ( a HUGEEEEEEE maybe) against Ole Miss only because of home advantage.
I believe this will be Bielema’s last “honeymoon” season to get away with winning four maybe five games. He is going to have to start producing more wins than “almost wins.” Fans in Arkansas looooove their Razorbacks and losing more than winning in "Hog Nation" is just not an option after a few years.
Below are my win/lose predictions for the upcoming 2014 season.
@Auburn - LOSE
Nicholls State - WIN
@Texas Tech - LOSE
N Illinois - WIN
Texas A&M – WIN (my wildcard)
Alabama - LOSE
Georgia – LOSE
UAB - WIN
@Mississippi St - LOSE
LSU - LOSE
Ole Miss – LOSE
@Missouri – LOSE
Overall: 4-8 with 1 win in the SEC