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Arkansas Razorback Football Preview and Predictions for 2010

Arkansas Razorback Football is Back!

It's time for Hog football to kick off again! The 2010 season is shaping up to be one to remember. Since everybody and their cousin are making predictions for the Razorbacks this year - we'll throw our Hog hat in the ring too!

We want to look at each opponent and determine key matchups. For adversaries the Hogs faced last year - we'll post the score from those games, and what changes we think may effect this season.

Arkansas Razorback Football - Get Ready!

Date Opponent Location
Sept. 4 Tennessee Tech Fayetteville
Sept. 11 Louisiana-Monroe Little Rock
Sept. 18 Georgia Athens, Ga.
Sept. 25 Alabama Fayetteville
Oct. 9 Texas A&M Arlington, Tex.
Oct. 16 Auburn Auburn, Ala.
Oct. 23 Ole Miss Fayetteville
Oct. 30 Vanderbilt Fayetteville
Nov. 6 South Carolina Columbia, S.C.
Nov. 13 Texas-El Paso Fayetteville
Nov. 20 Mississippi State Starkville, Miss.
Nov. 27 LSU Little Rock

Tennessee Tech - First time the Razorbacks have faced these guys. Should have an advantage at virtually every position. If this one is even close the Hogs have much bigger problems than anyone thinks.

Louisiana-Monroe - Sun Belt team that's usually pretty salty. Once again the Razorbacks should enjoy an advantage at almost every position and with much more depth.

Georgia - (41-52 loss) - The Dawgs are always tough at their place - but they have some major problems to overcome this year. A new Defensive Coordinator is completely changing the base scheme to a 3-4 pro style. That means there will be a learning curve even if you are talented.

Fortunately, the Arkansas Razorback football team runs a pretty sophisticated pro-style offense with an NFL caliber QB. Add several future NFL receivers, running backs, and tight ends. With experience. Advantage Hogs.

They will also be breaking in a rookie Quarterback. Sure he's good - but this is the SEC. Expect some inconsistency. The usual scenario is the better the defense he faces - the more inconsistent he'll be. (see Mallet,Ryan).

Arkansas defensive chief Willy Robinson has a few years in the NFL himself. Enough to confuse a fresh faced QB with a now experienced Defense that goes at least 2 deep at every position. Advantage Hogs.

We'll concede the kicking game to Georgia, and if the game comes down to a field goal the Hogs could be in trouble. Speaking of trouble - that's something that seems to have plagued some Bulldogs recently.

Discipline problems usually indicate a lack of team focus and leadership. Especially when they're still happening a week before the season!
Probable Win. 

Alabama - (7-35 loss) - The Tide loses the majority of the defense that dominated the (not-SEC looking) Arkansas Razorback football squad last year. The bad news is that they'll still be good. If there is a soft spot anywhere it will be in the relatively inexperienced secondary.

The Arkansas Razorback O-line should be better thanks to new coach Kris Klenakis and more experience and depth at every position. If it's enough to give Mallett a few more seconds in the pocket - he can keep the new Alabama DBs busy. Will that be enough to close the gap from last year's score? Maybe.

Coach Nick Saban will be bringing the same offense that lit the Hogs up last season. And don't kid yourself - Bama could easily have scored 49 points if Saban had been in a bad mood. The Razorbacks actually did a pretty good job of stopping the run - except for the play with the 5 broken tackles that made all the highlight reels!

We think the Hogs have narrowed the gap from last year's debacle so this should be a much more competitive contest. Unfortunately, there may be too much distance to make up on both sides of the ball.
Probable Loss.

Texas A&M - (47-19 win) - The Aggies return most of their starters from last year's team. They'll be better - but so will the Hogs. The score could very well be closer, although A&M just hasn't done well against SEC teams. And this Arkansas Razorback football team will look like an SEC team!

Auburn - (44-23 win) - The Tigers are another team starting with an inexperienced QB. They will also be losing several other productive offensive players from last year's team. They do return most of their starting defense. That's kind of a "good news - bad news" sort of thing, since they were just as bad as last year's Hog D.

If we rate the Defenses even, we have to give the Razorback offense the edge based on talent and experience. Willy Robinson seems to have figured out how to defend against Gus Malzahn's offense, but it may be a little harder this year. If Cam Newton is able to run the gimmicky Auburn offense, it will be a closer game than last year. Just not close enough for the War Eagles.
Probable Win.

Ole Miss - (17-30 loss) - Arkansas just didn't show up for this game last year. We don't think that will be a problem with this year's home game. The Rebels lost most of their offense but did make a last minute desperation grab for a QB with a shaky reputation.

Masoli is a difference maker but he can't do it by himself for an entire season in the SEC. Inexperience at other key positions will be too much to overcome. But you can expect some off the wall play calls from someone we all know!

Update! - The NCAA has denied Masoli's eligibility to play this season!

Update #2 - The NCAA changed their mind and will allow Masoli to play.

The Ole Miss defense will still be stout - just not as stout as it was last season. The Arkansas Razorback football players and coaches know how badly the fans want to win this one. If they forget for some reason, we're sure the crowd noise will remind them! That deafening noise from the home crowd will energize the Hogs to deliver this year.
Probable Win.

Vanderbilt - You don't ever want to overlook anyone in the SEC, but Vandy has a new coach and very little offense. Defense is scrappy and won't be a pushover. Still, if everyone plays their normal game, it should be a relatively easy home win for the Arkansas Razorback football team.

South Carolina - (33-16 win) - This was a much closer game last year than the score indicates. Coach Spurrier seems rededicated to coaching his guys up this year and that could be trouble for the Hogs. The Gamecocks did as much to beat themselves in last year's game as the Razorback defense. Fumbles, interceptions, penalties, and clock mismanagement killed a lot of chances for them.

Don't expect that many gifts in Columbia this year. If Garcia has a good game, this will be a tough one to win. But who knows when and if Garcia will have a good game? Who knows if he will even still be the QB by the time Arkansas rolls around? It's just as likely that Spurrier will have ripped off his headset and stomped off the field to go play golf by then!

All that turmoil is exactly why we have to give the Arkansas Razorback footballers the edge in this one. The head games Spurrier likes to play with his quarterbacks don't seem to be working at South Carolina. This could be the year it all clicks for Garcia, but from what we're hearing early on, it isn't likely.
Probable Win.

Texas-El Paso - Another team you don't want to take too lightly. But if everyone just does their job it should translate into a predictable victory. I mean, the Arkansas Razorback football team is still in the SEC.

Mississippi State - (42-21 win) - The other Bulldogs look to be improved from last year, but they will still have depth problems this late in the season. We think the Razorbacks will show at least as much, if not more, improvement than Dan Mullen's guys. This home game for the cowbell ringers may be closer than last year - but not that much.
Probable Win.

LSU - (30-33 OT loss) - The Bayou Bengals will be making a trip to Little Rock for this one. The Hogs went toe to toe with the Tigers at their place last year. Death Valley is a tough place to play a night game, so that little tidbit of info is pretty significant.

LSU will have one of the best defenses in the SEC. Their problem is that they play with one of the worst offenses. Basically a mirror image of the Arkansas Razorback football team. That's why the last few games have been so close and hard fought. They match strength against strength and weakness to weakness.

This game may come down to who has the most players left standing at the end of an SEC season. We like the Razorback's chances in that case. The Hogs are blessed with impressive depth at each critical skill position on offense. There is depth on the defensive side - just not as deep.

Les Miles had offensive depth problems last year that rivaled his problems with telling time. It doesn't look to be much better this year. Sure, they might get unbelievably lucky. And Les might double his IQ score too! But we have to look at probabilities. These games have been so close that Home field has been an advantage. Nobody wants to face the Hogs in Little Rock
Probable Win.

So if we are just looking at probabilities, it appears we have predicted an 11-1 season. We think that's pretty close if nothing strays too far from the normal ranges of the capabilities of each team.

Of course, college football can be unpredictable. An opponent could play well beyond their normal talent level on occasion. Conversely, the Arkansas Razorback football team could play below their normal range at some point.

That's why we watch!

Related links:

Razorback Sports Guide

Arkansas Razorback Football Tickets

Arkansas Razorback Football Apparel and Souvenirs

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