Three games into the 2007 football season, we now know that the Razorbacks' defense isn't very good, our passing game is even worse, and depending solely on two all-world running backs isn't a winning strategy in the SEC (maybe the Sun Belt). Plus, Houston Nutt has probably hired a private security force to guard his house against the angry pitchfork- and torch-wielding masses.
Given all that, it feels like time to reset our expectations. So, we put our team of statisticians, researchers and interns to the task, and together we came up with the following best-case and worst-case scenarios for the rest of the season:
9/29 - North Texas - The Hogs win in a rout and restore a little of their missing mojo. D-Mac rushes for 212 yards in the first half, then takes a nap in the locker room for the rest of the game.
10/6 - UT-Chattanooga - Another rout, another boost for the team's self-esteem. Marcus Monk returns and hauls in six passes for 112 yards and two TDs.
10/13 - Auburn - The Tigers come to Fayetteville needing a big win of their own, but the newly confident Razorbacks send them home empty-handed.
10/20 - Ole Miss - Road games are never easy in the SEC, but the Hogs have some momentum now and take care of business in Oxford.
10/27 - Florida International - Even with the heroic Ned on their side, the Golden Panthers are no match for the resurgent Razorbacks. Arkansas wins, 41-7.
11/3 - South Carolina - Admittedly, we're not sure how this will happen, but our defense slows down the Spurriers enough to win a 35-31 shootout.
11/10 - Tennessee - Even in our best case scenario we don't see this one as a win. Too much Erik Ainge, too much Rocky Top.
11/17 - Mississippi State - Sorry Sylvester.
11/24 - LSU - The best case scenario here is avoiding total humiliation. So here's to that!
Final record (factoring in the inevitable meltdown in a mid-tier bowl): 8-5
9/29 - North Texas - The Hogs win, but in lackluster fashion. The fans grow restless (more so).
10/6 - UT-Chattanooga - Another unimpressive win. Fans on the message boards begin planning the construction of a 500-ft Houston Nutt effigy that they will then burn at halftime of the Auburn game.
10/13 - Auburn - The Tigers get revenge for last year and dish out a beatdown. The Houston Nutt effigy is set ablaze and accidentally burns down half of Fayetteville. Most fans blame Nutt for this.
10/20 - Ole Miss - The Rebs came within six points of Florida last week. Think they can beat the Hogs at home? We do.
10/27 - Florida International - Arkansas wins, but the Golden Panthers incite another riot. Many helmets are used as weapons. Wally Hall laments the situation from atop his soapbox.
11/3 - South Carolina - Lots of touchdown passes are thrown, but not by the Hogs. Cocks win.
11/10 - Tennessee - McFadden and Jones each run for 400 yards, but their big day is offset by Erik Ainge's 500 yards passing and six TDs.
11/17 - Mississippi State - Ok, we still win this one.
11/24 - LSU - It gets ugly. Hide the women & children, folks.
Final record (no bowl; Nutt has to be escorted out of state by the National Guard): 5-7