Sowegalive Preseason Top 30: Team #30 Arkansas Razorbacks




Arkansas RazorbacksArkansas Logo
Brett Bielema – 4th year (18-20)
2015 Record: 8-5 (5-3, T-3rd)
Razorback Stadium (72,000)

The Razorbacks finished last season on a 6-1 run with two wins over ranked opponents & have accomplished the second part of that feat in each of the last two seasons. This proves that Arkansas is a much better towards the end of the season than they are at the beginning of the season. The last two seasons the Razorbacks have been 3-6 in September and 5-3 in November so if they could just start the season our strong they could possibly find themselves closer to the top of the SEC West.

Brett Bielema
Arkansas Head Coach Brett Bielema

Offensively, the Razorbacks lose a lot of experience with the departure of quarterback Brandon Allen & running back Alex Collins and return some solid players to take their places but inexperience will be plenty on that side of the ball in 2016. Brandon Allen’s younger brother Austin will take over the quarterback duties for the Hawgs which in a strange way feels like it may be a good thing for Arkansas as Austin surely has had a pretty good teacher in older brother Brandon & a good mentor to call upon for questions and tips when it comes to the gameplan and offense. The key to any good Brett Bielema-led team in the offensive line and even though Arkansas only returns two starters from last season, they still have plenty of beef up front no one under 310 pounds. They’ll be paving the way for a running back-by-committee situation with senior Kody Walker & sophomore Rawleigh Williams who managed to rack up just under 700 yards and 7 touchdowns last season in backup duty to Collins. The Arkansas rushing attack should remain one of the better rushing attacks in the country in 2016. Only Alabama & Tennessee had better a better running game than the Razorbacks in 2015.

Defensively, Arkansas returns nearly everyone from an average unit that will only get better in 2016 with the loss of a slough of experienced quarterbacks in the SEC. Nine starters will be back for Arkansas in 2016 including senior middle linebacker Brooks Ellis who sounds more like a law firm than a middle linebacker but he led the team in tackles last season with 102 & was the anchor of the defense. Arkansas had only 14 sacks last season and will look to climb out of the cellar in that category with senior Deatrich Wise & company this season. The Arkansas defense will be a mostly senior led unit in 2016 and even though they allowed 27.1 points per game last season, I expect that number to improve significantly this season five returning seniors.

Arkansas LB Brooks Ellis
Arkansas LB Brooks Ellis

There’s no easy way to say it; Arkansas’ 2016 schedule is tough. Non-conference opponents Louisiana Tech, TCU & Texas State combined with only four conference home games combined with back-to-back conference opponents coming off of bye weeks in late October make this schedule very difficult for a team looking to climb to the top of the SEC mountain.

Overall, the Arkansas Razorbacks will be very big, very talented but also very inexperienced in 2016 which could be a blessing in disguise for Brett Bielema as some of the young players may be talented enough and brash enough to pull off a solid season. Brett Bielema took Wisconsin to four straight Rose Bowls at one point but is only 18-20 in his time in Fayetteville. They aren’t ready to run him out of town yet but the Pig Sooie crowd is definitely ready to see some results in year four under Bielema and with a little luck they just might.

2016 Arkansas Razorback Schedule

Sept 3rd          Louisiana Tech
Sept 10th        at TCU
Sept 17th        Texas State
Sept 24th       v. Texas A&M (Arlington, TX)
Oct 1st            Alcorn State (Little Rock, AR)
Oct 8th           Alabama
Oct 15th         Mississippi State *off Bye Week
Oct 22nd       at Auburn *off Bye Week
Oct 29th        OPEN
Nov 5th         Florida
Nov 12th       LSU
Nov 19th       at Mississippi State
Nov 26th      at Missouri

Razorback Stadium - 1938 - 72,000
Razorback Stadium – 1938 – 72,000

#30 – Arkansas Razorbacks
#29 – Monday, July 25th
#28 – Tuesday, July 26th
#27 – Wednesday, July 27th
#26 – Thursday, July 28th
#25 – Friday, July 29th
#24 – Monday, August 1st
#23 – Tuesday, August 2nd
#22 – Wednesday, August 3rd
#21 – Thursday, August 4th
#20 – Friday, August 5th
#19 – Monday, August 8th
#18 – Tuesday, August 9th
#17 – Wednesday, August 10th
#16 – Thursday, August 11th
#15 – Friday, August 12th
#14 – Monday, August 15th
#13 – Tuesday, August 16th
#12 – Wednesday, August 17th
#11 – Thursday, August 18th
#10 – Friday, August 19th
#9 – Monday, August 22nd
#8 – Tuesday, August 23rd
#7 – Wednesday, August 24th
#6 – Thursday, August 25th
#5 – Friday, August 26th
#4 – Monday, August 29th
#3 – Tuesday, August 30th
#2 – Wednesday, August 31st
#1 – Thursday, September 1st

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