Rebuilding in college football is never fun. Rebuilding in the SEC West is an especially arduous task, as Arkansas fans know all too well.
The Razorbacks haven’t had a winning season in five years, and are coming off a 3-7 campaign in 2020. Unfortunately, being .500 or better this fall doesn’t seem particularly likely.
In addition to their usual rugged SEC West slate, Arkansas has to play Georgia as one of its SEC East crossover matchups and also has non-conference games against Big 12 foe Texas and Georgia Southern, which has made three-straight bowl games.
There’s a reason why out of all the schedules in the country, 247Sports’ Brad Crawford named Arkansas’ the toughest.
“At some point, you have to feel sorry a bit for Sam Pittman and Arkansas,” Crawford wrote. “No one in the SEC will, but it’s difficult shift the direction of a struggling program when there are landmines week after week on the schedule. With five guaranteed matchups vs. ranked teams and the possibility of three more, we’re going to feel safe landing in the middle here and project the Razorbacks to play six contests this fall against Top 25 competition — a treacherous task.”
After what should be a Week 1 win over Rice, things immediately become brutal for Pittman and the Razorbacks. The team’s next five opponents are Texas, Georgia Southern, Texas A&M, Georgia and Ole Miss.
The back half of the schedule doesn’t provide any relief either, save for a gimme game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. For example, November brings road trips to LSU and Alabama in back-to-back weeks.
In order for Arkansas to be competitive in 2021, they are going to have to defy expectations, because on paper, this coming campaign looks like a struggle.