Respected handicapper projects Arkansas in Top 25
Kenny White, one of the most respected college football handicappers in Las Vegas and a member of the recent Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook Seminar panel, gave those in attendance a surprise with his take on Arkansas.
White revealed that he has the Razorbacks in the Top 25 of his preseason power ratings.
I asked Saturday Down South’s Vegas expert, Brian Edwards, whether the public may be overlooking Arkansas in the murderous SEC West.
Edwards’ take? White probably is on an island among Vegas sharps when it comes to ranking Arkansas as one of the 25 best teams in the country. But he asked White for the logic behind the pick, which I’ll relay here.
Brandon Allen hurt his shoulder early in the season, but had to play through the injury because Arkansas had nothing game-worthy behind him at quarterback.
“They said going into the LSU game, that was the first week that he threw at practice all week,” Edwards said.
Of course, Arkansas held a lead in Baton Rouge with less than two minutes left in the game, probably the Razorbacks’ best performance of the season.
“I think Kenny is thinking that with (Allen) healthy, it’s going to be a totally different story at the quarterback position, and everybody knows Arkansas has two great running backs,” Edwards said. “Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams are big-time. I agree with that part, but whether he’s healthy or not, I just don’t think Brandon Allen’s a very good quarterback.”
Defensive end Trey Flowers is a legitimate NFL prospect, but Edwards called the Arkansas secondary “horrible” and doesn’t anticipate the Razorbacks will escape the bottom of the SEC West.
Still, White’s projection proves that, as we approach the first Saturday of the college football season, even the last-place SEC West team in 2013 can hope for a bowl game and a turnaround season.
Arkansas has two near-guarantees against Nicholls State and UAB, and also plays Northern Illinois of the MAC. But SEC home games against Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss, all ranked entering the season, equate to a brutal schedule, not to mention road games against both of the defending division champs, Texas Tech and Mississippi State.
Vegas listed the Razorbacks’ over/under at 4.5 wins. How many games do you think Arkansas will take down?