From the moment the 2008 football schedule was released, the Expats organization has employed a team of PhD statisticians working overtime to develop a mathematically precise prediction of how the season would unfold.
However, as they were preparing their report for us this morning, their computer crashed and their massive trove of data was lost (apparently they forgot to hit the save button). In a pinch we turned to this fellow on the left...what he lacks in expertise and education he more than makes up for with a cool outfit and a crystal ball. So, without further ado, we present to you the 2008 Razorback Expats soon-to-be-laughably-wrong football forecast:
Western Illinois (8/30) - No Appalachian State-style D-IAA upset here as the Bobby Petrino era begins with an easy win. Expect plenty of offensive fireworks. W
Louisiana-Monroe (9/06) - Petrino does what Nick Saban couldn't do last year...beat the mighty ULM Warhawks. W
at Texas ( 9/13) - Wouldn't a win in Austin be just about the best thing ever? Alas, we don't see it happening. L
Alabama (9/20) - Our soothsayer tells us that the Hogs have at least one 'upset' of the SEC's big guns in them this year, and this feels like the game. Sweet revenge for that heartbreaker in Tuscaloosa last year. W
Florida (10/04) - Tebow vs Petrino...gosh, who will ESPN be pulling for? The Hogs will make it respectable, but don't have the defensive studs to contain the Gators for four quarters. L
at Auburn (10/11) - Auburn is tough. SEC games on the road are tough. We'll score more than 7 points this year, though. L
at Kentucky (10/18) - John Pelphrey's boys play the game of their lives to upset the Wildcats in Rupp...wait, wrong sport. Anyway, this feels like a win. W
Ole Miss (10/25) - Banner-making companies and charter pilots in NW Arkansas are salivating over the revenue opportunities for this game. We simply have to win it...no other options. W
Tulsa (11/01) - Hint: there might be a pass or two thrown in this game. With HDN out of the picture, the drama factor is a lot lower (that's a pretty blanket statement, actually), but still should be a fun one. W
at South Carolina (11/08) - Defense figures to be the Hogs' weak spot this year, and we don't like the odds of holding off the Spurriers on the road. L
at Mississippi St (11/22) - We're bumming ourselves out just predicting this, but we feel a Crooming coming on. Like we said, SEC road games are tough. L
LSU (11/28) - A letdown after last year's epic thriller is inevitable...the Hogs will "bring that wood", but it won't be enough this time. L
Summary: So, the total comes to 6-6 (our PhD's helped us figure out the tally). To those counting on a nine win season that might be grounds for breaking out the anti-Petrino banners and FOIA'ing his cell phone records, but even in our giddiest days we're realists at heart and that feels about right. The schedule is BRUTAL, folks.
The way we see it, getting six wins out of that murderer's row in such a rebuilding year would be a great sign of things to come. Just to be clear, we are extremely bullish about the future of the football team and know that the Hogs will be a real handful for opponents in 2009, but this year is more about building a foundation for upcoming glories. Whatever happens, the Razorbacks will be a blast to watch, and we can't wait to see what happens.
Of course, that's just our take our fortune teller's take on it...what do you think?