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The best response I read after Georgia and Florida were added to Arkansas’ schedule came from Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated who tweeted: Dear God.

The national media is united in its view the Razorbacks could go without a win in the SEC for the third consecutive year. Arkansas fans are a bit more optimist, especially with a new head coach and defensive coordinator. I’ll continue with my annual predictions column on the Porkers while acknowledging I haven’t watched a single Arkansas practice or scrimmage as I’ve done in previous years.

Covid-19, as you know, changes everything.

KEY GAME: Oct. 3, at Mississippi State

We’ll know pretty early whether Arkansas is in danger of another winless season in the SEC with this game, the second of the year. There’s a lot of hype at Mississippi State with the arrival of coach Mike Leach in Starkville, where the Bulldogs were 14-12 before firing Joe Moorhead after two years.

Definitely a winnable game for the Razorbacks, who’ll be staring at an 0-3 start if they lose.

BEST WIN: Nov. 7, home vs. Tennessee

One of the most determined efforts I’ve ever seen came on Nov. 13, 1999 when Clint Stoerner passed to Anthony Lucas to secure a 28-24 victory over Tennessee. It happened 364 agonizing days after Tennessee beat Arkansas by the same exact score to end a 9-game winning streak in Houston Nutt’s first year as the Razorbacks coach.

Stoerner got his revenge in 1999 and the goal posts came down as fans rushed the field and carried the goal posts to Dickson Street. A win over the Volunteers with goal posts that remain upright will be sufficient in 2020.

WORST LOSS: Oct. 10, at Auburn

Former Springdale, Shiloh Christian, and Hughes coach Gus Malzahn moves to 7-1 against the Razorbacks with another win.

The guy Arkansas passed over for Bret Bielema sticks it to the Hogs again, this time with Chad Morris as offensive coordinator.

TOP NEWCOMER: Can we label Felipe Franks as a newcomer, even though he played in 23 games at quarterback for Florida?

I think so, especially when Franks cited “new beginnings” when announcing his transfer from Florida on social media. Franks must perform well for Arkansas to have any success this season.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: I’ve been impressed with Treylon Burks since I first watched him during a playoff game at Prairie Grove, when he was already the best player on the field as a sophomore.

Burks has all-SEC potential as a receiver and punt returner and the addition of Felipe Franks as quarterback should aid in his development. Burks is athletic enough to play in the secondary but he’s too valuable on offense to even consider a move.

If protection for Franks holds up, Burks could double his output from his freshman year when he caught 29 passes for 475 yards.

MOST DETERMINED Grant Morgan

This is a category I added specifically for Morgan, the former walk-on from Greenwood.

Morgan made his debut as a red-shirt freshman in 2017 and played in all 12 games.

As a sophomore, Morgan was rewarded with a scholarship and played in all 12 games.

As a junior, Morgan again played in all 12 games.

As a senior, Morgan is one of four captains and he could start some games at linebacker for the Razorbacks.

Forget the stats for a moment. Anyone who walks on to a team and is selected by his teammates as a team captain his senior year deserves recognition for displaying the fighting’ Razorback spirit this program was built upon.

Your story resonates with many, Mr. Morgan, who grew up in this state wanting to be a Razorback and refused to take no for an answer.

BREAKOUT PLAYER: Joe Foucha

Arkansas won’t be much better until its defense is significantly improved.

Junior safety Joe Foucha appears primed for a breakout year after arriving at Arkansas as the No. 21-ranked player in talent rich Louisiana as a high school senior.

FINAL RECORD: Expectations are a gauge and it shows how far the Razorbacks football program has sunk when the over/under for number of Arkansas wins is 1 1/2.

That’s sad, folks, it really is. Arkansas fans deserve better and maybe the Hogs can rally this season with determined play and better coaching. But I’ll take the under, stick with 1-9, and hope I’m wrong.

Print Headline: Another difficult season ahead for UA

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