Just under three months from today, Arkansas will kick off the 2014 campaign on the SEC Network at 3 p.m. against the Auburn Tigers.
Here's one man's opinion on how Bret Bielema's second season will go.
August 30 at Auburn
The Hogs haven't lost a season opener since that 50-14 whipping at the hands of USC to begin the infamous 2006 season. I can still vividly remember Dallas Washington picking that Trojan up and body slamming him on that second quarter kickoff.
Anyway, that streak is in jeopardy facing off against Gus Malzahn and the defending SEC champions at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Arkansas played Auburn tough last year in Fayetteville, and won't be intimidated going in there because a lot of the players that won there two years ago are still on this team.
Still, Auburn has too many weapons coming back from that team and know that a season-opening loss would be crushing to any chance at a defense of its SEC crown.
Hogs lose, 38-20.
September 6 Nicholls State
This is easily the most winnable game on the schedule besides UAB, and I think that it will be good therapy, especially if the Hogs get blown out on The Plains the week before.
I don't know anything about Nicholls State other than they will get beat pretty handily in the home opener.
Hogs win, 45-13.
September 13 at Texas Tech
Arkansas hasn't made a trip to Lubbock since the SWC days, and no, Spike Dykes isn't still the Red Raiders' coach.
Kliff Kingsbury won his first seven games last year before fading down the stretch and winning a bowl game to salvage the season as a success.
This could be a statement game for Bret Bielema, as it will be a nationally televised game against a quality Big 12 opponent.
The defense will get tested early and often with the Air Raid attack that Kingsbury employs, and it's hard to see the defense we saw last year keeping it under 35 points. Unless Robb Smith is a miracle worker, it's probably going to be a long day in West Texas.
Hogs lose, 42-31.
September 20 Northern Illinois
This game would be substantially more interesting if Jordan Lynch was still quarterbacking NIU, but he's gone and unless his replacement is significantly better, the Hogs should have a chance in this one.
It will be important to get back to .500 before a tough three-game SEC stretch begins the following week.
Arkansas can't stub its toe for the third consecutive year against a team from a lower conference (UL-Monroe in '12, Rutgers last year).
Hogs win, 30-23.
September 27 Texas A&M (in Arlington, Texas)
The Hogs and Aggies return the Southwest Classic to its rightful place in AT&T Stadium, where the good guys are 3-0 since the series started in 2009.
Bobby Petrino's second team began to gain steam with a 28-point victory here five years ago. Remember when we thought Ronnie Wingo was the next coming of Darren McFadden with that 75-yard touchdown late in the game? Yeah, about that.
Life after Johnny Manziel is either going to be tough or A&M will lean on a strong running game and enough athletes on the perimeter to win shootouts with people.
I think the SEC losing streak stops in Jerry World.
Hogs win, 31-27.
October 11 Alabama
Honoring the 1964 national championship team against the team who also claims it is nothing short of shrewd.
Arkansas has lost the previous two meetings against the Crimson Tide by a combined score of 104-0. The Hogs score points in this one and make it interesting, but Bielema still doesn't have enough in the arsenal to take down Saint Nick.
Hogs lose, 35-17.
October 18 Georgia
The Bulldogs visit War Memorial Stadium for the first time in their history, and Mark Richt's group could be highly ranked if they've gotten safely past Clemson, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Arkansas hasn't played Georgia since 'Childs, please' and the 31-24 triumph between the hedges in 2010.
UGA fans probably remember that game well, and will have revenge on their minds as they invade the capital city. Todd Gurley, if healthy, might be the best running back in the SEC.
Hogs lose, 34-23.
October 25 UAB
Garrick McGee's old stomping grounds visit the Hogs for homecoming in Fayetteville.
This one should never be in doubt, and there's a good chance that Collins, Williams & Marshall could all go over 100 yards rushing in this one (if they haven't already done it against Nicholls).
Hogs win, 49-10.
November 1 at Mississippi State
Sitting at .500 heading into Starkville, the Hogs could play spoiler at Davis Wade Stadium, especially if Mississippi State is having a great season.
The Hogs got blown out there two years ago and then choked away a win a year ago in Little Rock. It'd be nice to get back to looking at the two games with the Mississippi schools as likely victories.
Hogs win, 28-24.
November 15 LSU
Not going to lie, it's going to be extremely bizarre not playing LSU as the last game of the regular season.
I don't know if that's going to affect how this series has gone over the last decade. The Hogs had chances to win the last two years with awful teams pitted against really good LSU teams.
Depending on where LSU is at this point and how motivated they are will determine how the Hogs do. Luckily, they get two weeks to prepare and the Bayou Bengals will have just played Alabama.
Hogs lose another heartbreaker, 25-22.
November 22 Ole Miss
Everyone raves about Ole Miss having Bo Wallace back, but what has he done in his Rebel career that deserves recognition? BBVA Compass Bowl and Music City Bowl victories? Bravo.
It's not a for-sure victory, but it's as good a chance to win a SEC home game as the Hogs have. Ole Miss does have two weeks to prepare for the Hogs, and depending on where both teams stand with injuries will definitely have an effect.
Hogs win an ugly game, 21-17.
November 28 at Missouri
Playing Mizzou in the old LSU time slot the day after Thanksgiving will be weird. It will be a totally different atmosphere at Faurot Field compared to Death Valley.
It will be interesting to see how good Maty Mauk is when he knows he's THE guy in Columbia as compared to last year when he was simply James Franklin's backup with very little pressure on him. Anything good he did last year was bonus. They just wanted to avoid disaster. Fortunately for them, they backed their way into a trip to Atlanta.
I don't see there being any way the Tigers repeat as SEC East champions. The Hogs can definitely win this game, but it's going to likely be bitter cold and they've never played there in recent history.
Hogs lose, 24-14.
Final record: 6-6. Bret Bielema gets bowl eligible and the bowl game will be colossal in terms of recruiting and for the returning players, allowing them to get extra practice time.
If Bielema can find a way to win the bowl game and finish 7-6, it sets up the possibility for a very successful 2015 season depending on how many players elect to stay.
Dare I say the Hogs might have a chance to win 8 or even 9 games then? Getting Will Gragg, K.J. Hill and C.J. O'Grady would certainly help that cause.
Can't wait to hear Brent Musburger pontificate on beautiful southern women and Jesse Palmer awkwardly try to explain football on August 30. See you then.
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