The long drought of Arkansas football finding success in the SEC may be over this season. At least, that’s the thinking behind ESPN’s Football Power Index, which lists Sam Pittman’s Razorbacks as a favorite already.

In Week 2, against Mississippi State, the FPI has Arkansas with a 50.5 percent chance of winning over Mike Leach’s Bulldogs. Both teams have difficult opponents to open the season the previous week with Arkansas playing host to Georgia, and Mississippi State playing at LSU.

This would be one of the shockers in the SEC as Arkansas has lost 19 straight SEC games since beating Ole Miss on Oct. 28, 2017.

In four of Arkansas’ last five games last season, the Razorbacks gave up at least 40 points. The exception was the Missouri loss, 24-14.

If Arkansas pulls it out, it’s likely in part because of having a veteran quarterback. Feleipe Franks is not officially the starter, but the odds-on favorite.

He started for the better part of three seasons at Florida even though he was benched at times and suffered a season-ending injury early last season at Kentucky.

In 2018, Franks was 188-of-322 passing for 2,457 yards, 24 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He also ran the ball 110 times in 2018 for 350 yards and 7 TDs.

If the FPI turns out to be correct, it could set the Pittman era off to a solid start, and change the trajectory of how the season unfolds.