With four new coaches across the SEC, and a slew of coordinator changes beyond that, there are plenty of possible candidates as the “Surprise Team” in the league this season. SEC Network commentator Laura Rutledge offered her thoughts on the topic following the new schedule reveal this week.

Rutledge chose Arkansas, and immediately addressed the skepticism that the Razorbacks added Georgia and Florida, how could they be a surprise?

“I think that’s why they’re a surprise, it could only go up from here for Arkansas,” Rutledge said. “I like Sam Pittman a lot, and I think the fact that Barry Odom is their defensive coordinator is huge, maybe overlooked a little bit, too. Then they’ve got Feleipe Franks, who is going to be super motivated for that Florida game, if he does, in fact, win the starting quarterback job. And Sam Pittman, Game 1 against Georgia, really familiar with those Bulldogs.”

This is a definite buy low opinion as Pittman took over from Chad Morris, who led the Razorbacks to a 4-18 record in less than two full seasons.

The fan base is starving for a winner. The Razorbacks have not reached a bowl game since 2016 and are on their fourth head coach in less than a decade. Last season, the year after a $160 million stadium renovation and expansion, the school had its two lowest-attended games since 2001.