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ESPN Includes Arkansas In Way Too Early Top 25 and SEC Power Rankings

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What do people think of the Razorbacks here at the beginning of May?

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas clocks in at #21 in Mark Schlabach's post-spring top 25 rankings, leaving them in pretty much the same spot they've been in since last season ended.

"The Hogs finally turned the corner at the end the 2014 season. With star tailbacks Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins both coming back, along with four starting offensive linemen, the Hogs are going to be a tough out in the SEC West. The Razorbacks will be tested early and often with SEC road games at Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss and LSU."

#21 is behind opponents Tennessee (#20), LSU (#16), Ole Miss (#14), Alabama (#7), and Auburn (#4). Arkansas will end the regular season against Missouri, who clocks in at #24.

The conference opponents not included are Mississippi State and Texas A&M. The Bulldogs' absence isn't particularly surprising since they will be losing many of their starters from last year. I'm sort of surprised the Aggies weren't included. They had a disappointing season last year but I think they'll better this season with an improved quarterback and significant upgrade at defensive coordinator in John Chavis.

ESPN's SEC blogger is a little bit higher on the Hogs. Edward Aschoff ranks Arkansas 5th - not in the West, but in the entire conference. Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Alabama are the four teams in front of them.

"The Hogs should be a fun team to watch this fall. We know they can run with 1,000-yard backs Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins, but all accounts are that Brandon Allen made much-needed improvements at quarterback, which should lead to a more balanced attack. The defense is filled with questions, but there's potential for plenty of growth between now and the meat of the season."

I think Arkansas' road schedule is going to keep analysts from fully buying in to the Razorbacks this season. Other than the second halves against Auburn and Missouri last season, the Hogs played pretty well on the road. Arkansas doesn't play a true road game this year until October in Knoxville, so I expect the Razorbacks do perform well. It will be fun to see how it all plays out.