This column is not about homerism.
It is about new coaches, new quarterbacks, turmoil and the unknown
After writing it and realizing the prediction was the Arkansas Razorbacks would go 10-2 this season, I went back and tried to find another loss. But this is looking like a very good season for the Hogs if they can stay healthy.
Here's the picks:
Cincinnati (Fayetteville) There is no reason to believe there will be a great fall for the Bearcats, who went 13-1 last season, losing only to Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinals. Arkansas' defense is tested early and often through the air. KJ Jefferson and his herd of running backs are good in the first half and better in the second. Arkansas 35-30
South Carolina (Fayetteville) While this beats playing Georgia, the Gamecocks are improved under Shane Beamer. The question is can they stop the Razorbacks ground attack? Probably not well enough. Arkansas 38-21
Missouri State (Fayetteville) No matter what you think of Bobby Petrino, he's a heckuva football coach and knows how to get to the end zone. The Bears are good, but not good enough. For the third straight game, the Razorbacks rush for more than 300 yards. Arkansas 42-24
Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas) The Aggies are good, but will be better in the future. The Razorbacks will pound the ball, but in the end Jefferson's arm wins this one as he passes for three touchdowns. Arkansas 42-35
Alabama (Fayetteville) Nick Saban likes Sam Pittman and tried to hire him away from Arkansas when he was offensive line coach. However, Saban didn't like finishing second in the country last year and he intends to stay No. 1. A great crowd sees the Hogs keep it close until the fourth quarterback when the Tide puts it away. Alabama 42-31
Mississippi State (Starkville, Miss.) The Bulldogs lead the nation in passing yards coming into the game and when the final buzzer sounds they will have passed for 411 yards, but the game is tied at 38-38. In the third overtime, MSU scores a touchdown but the two-point conversion is broken up by Jalen Catalon. Arkansas scores and catches the Bulldogs flat-footed when Malik Hornsby passes to Jefferson for the two points. Arkansas 56-54
Brigham Young (Provo, Utah) Undefeated after a 34-31 win over Notre Dame, the Cougars are flying high. The Cougars return 20 starters from a 10-3 team and a veteran team should be able to put the win over the Fighting Irish behind them. The elevation, 4,551 feet, give the Razorbacks some problems. BYU 38-30
Auburn (Auburn, Ala.) There will be lots of eyes on Bryan Harsin and that means pressure. The Tigers are coming off trips to Georgia and Ole Miss. Both teams have the previous week off. Sam Pittman makes sure the loss to BYU was put to rest. Jefferson passes for two touchdowns and runs for one as the Razorbacks get back on track. Arkansas 40-28
Liberty (Fayetteville) No matter what you think of Hugh Freeze he's a heckuva football coach. Liberty leads 24-21 at the half but can't stop Arkansas' running attack in the second half. Arkansas 49-35
LSU (Fayetteville) The Tigers are looking at a second-tier bowl, Arkansas at a major bowl. Arkansas 42-24
Ole Miss (Fayetteville) The Rebels have found a replacement for Matt Corral, but Jefferson has remained healthy and beating the team that he grew up in the shadows of will be special. Arkansas 49-42
Missouri (Columbia, Mo.) Tigers trying to get bowl eligible. Hogs going for two in a row over Mizzou. Arkansas 45-31