Arkansas Football: Game-by-game predictions for 2015
Celebrating the start of fall practice this week, there’s no better time to begin our SEC game-by-game predictions series breaking down each and every contest during the regular season.
We pride ourselves on knowing college football’s most competitive conference as well as anyone and as one reader pointed out this summer using a weighted point system based on accuracy against other preseason prognosticators, our annual ‘Crystal Ball’ ranks among the nation’s most precise.
We called a couple big-time upsets last fall including Mississippi’s win over Alabama, but whiffed on South Carolina’s abrupt fall from grace in the East along with Mizzou’s second consecutive division title.
We’re ready for another exciting season of SEC football, aren’t you?
2015 CRYSTAL BALL SERIES
THE 2015 BATTLEFIELD
Sept. 5 vs. UTEP (W): Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins each surpass the 100-yard mark in a convincing season-opening victory.
Sept. 12 vs. Toledo (W): Another multi-touchdown win features a near perfect outing from Brandon Allen.
Sept. 19 vs. Texas Tech (W): The Razorbacks put on a clinic at the line of scrimmage last season in this matchup and it’ll happen again.
Sept. 26 vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, W): Arkansas starts SEC play off on the right foot by returning the favor at AT&T Stadium. This one doesn’t go to OT, either.
Oct. 3 at Tennessee (L): College GameDay should be in Knoxville for this showdown featuring a pair of early, nationally-ranked SEC unbeatens. Joshua Dobbs leads a fourth-quarter comeback with an epic finish.
Oct. 10 at Alabama (L): Arkansas drops to 1-2 in SEC play against a Top 5 team on the road. No shame in another close loss to the Crimson Tide.
Oct. 24 vs. Auburn (W): The Tigers’ first loss of the season comes in Fayetteville during the same weekend things begin to get wacky in the West. Arkansas benefits from a much-needed bye week beforehand.
Oct. 31 vs. UT Martin (W): Arkansas moves to 6-2 heading into a crucial November as a Top 20 team.
Nov. 7 at Ole Miss (L): Facing yet another raucous environment in SEC play, chances of a Western Division title begin to slip away in Oxford.
Nov. 14 at LSU (L): In need of a split over this tough two-game road stretch, Arkansas fails to convert a fourth down late under the lights in Death Valley.
Nov. 21 vs. Mississippi State (W): The Bulldogs’ late-season tailspin continues with a loss to the Razorbacks in a physical game.
Nov. 28 vs. Mizzou (W): Mark Richt sends Bret Bielema an early Christmas gift for wrapping up Georgia’s berth in the SEC Championship Game.
2015 PROJECTED FINISH: 8-4, 4-4; Fourth in the West
THE LOWDOWN: Jockeying for position in the West will be a headache for all seven teams throughout the season and its squad’s cannibalistic schedule will leave scars. Eight wins with a chance at nine for the Razorbacks may not reach championship expectations this fall, but it would act as another step forward for Bielema and this program. Three wins in a projected seven games against ranked teams would be enough to push Arkansas into a Florida-based bowl game — an ideal destination for Razorbacks fans at the end of the season.