Wednesday, August 25, 2010
SEC 2010-Arkansas Razorbacks
2009 Record: 8-5 (3-5)
Head Coach: Bobby Petrino (3rd season, 13-12...54-21 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Garrick McGee (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Willy Robinson (3rd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Liberty Bowl, defeated East Carolina 20-17 (OT)
Offense: People have been waiting for a little while to see QB Ryan Mallett break onto the national stage. He had a huge season last season, passing for 3624 yards and 30 scores, which did some good getting him on the radar. He should be even better in 2010, as all of his targets return. Greg Childs, Joe Adams, and Jarius Wright all return at WR, and TE DJ Williams is one of the best anywhere. The RB group could go as many as 4 deep in 2010, but both guards must be replaced, which could make the running game a bit slow to develop. The other 3 starters return on the line (both tackles and center).
Defense: The Razorbacks were the 6th best team in the nation in takeaways last season, but were still very prone to blowing the big play. DE Jake Baquette and DT Zach Stadther return in 2010, but the other side of the line will have two new starters. Jerry Franklin is the best LB at Arkansas, and the others in the group will have to improve to his level of play. Tremain Thomas and Rudell Crim both return, and Ramon Broadway will be back at CB, but there will be an opening at the other CB spot.
Special Teams: Both PK and P jobs are open competetions at this point, as they have both been a source of underachievement in the past.
Wins: 9/4 Tennessee Tech, 9/11 Louisiana-Monroe, 9/18 @ Georgia, 10/23 Ole Miss, 10/30 Vanderbilt, 11/6 @ South Carolina, 11/13 UTEP, 11/20 @ Mississippi State, 11/27 LSU
Toss Up Games: @ Texas A&M, 10/16 @ Auburn
Losses: 9/25 Alabama
Arkansas can certainly upset Alabama, but I won't believe it until I see it. Outside of A&M, the non-conference schedule is quite boring and uninspired. The easy schedule should give Arkansas a shot at 8 to 10 wins.
Outlook: Arkansas' record may be better than the team really is, but they play a schedule that is not very challenging for the most part. The Hogs do play Alabama, but will not get Florida. If there is a team with a realistic chance at upsetting Bama for a birth in the SEC title game, it would be Arkansas. Mallett was awesome last season, and can get even better.