We still may be getting over Arkansas’ embarrassing defeat from Friday, but most of the talk this week will circle around which bowl game the Razorbacks play in about a month from now.
The SEC finished with 11 bowl-eligible teams, and Mississippi State may qualify as a 5-7 team due to their APR ranking.
After Alabama, nobody in the league finished with more than 8 wins (though Florida will get some credit for a 9th win after one of their cupcake games was cancelled due to hurricane). Arkansas finished 7-5, the same record as Georgia and Kentucky. The Wildcats’ upset victory over Louisville on Saturday makes them a surprise 7-5 team.
Most every projection leading up to Saturday likely included Arkansas beating Missouri and getting to 8-4 and Kentucky finishing 6-6. This could have an effect on Arkansas’ situation in the Pool of Six. The Wildcats are popular draws for the Music City Bowl due to their proximity to Nashville, especially so considering the strong positive momentum they finished the season with.
Arkansas’ disappointing finish could play a factor because it could hurt projected ticket sales. How many Hog fans want to spend the money required to go out to the East Coast to watch the Hogs in a mid-tier bowl out there. Maybe enthusiasm will grow over the next couple weeks, but it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot right now.
A couple of outlets have updated their projections already following Saturday’s games.
SB Nation still has Arkansas in the Music City vs Minnesota. This would be a rematch of the rarely spoken of 2002 game.
CBS also has Arkansas in Nashville vs Iowa. There would be plenty of Bielema/Iowa/Big Ten storylines. However, CBS also seems to have Arkansas in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte vs Miami. I’m not sure which is their most current projection.
Going into the week, ESPN had Arkansas in the Belk Bowl. Fox Sports had the Razorbacks going to Jacksonville in the TaxSlayer Bowl vs North Carolina. Sports Illustrated also said TaxSlayer but against Miami.
I’d say things are pretty up in the air right now. The only things that would be a surprise are a return trip to the Liberty Bowl, or if Arkansas somehow fell out of the Pool of Six in favor of a 6-6 team (that would be ugly, but I really don’t think it’ll happen).
What’s the consensus among fans? Where do you want the Hogs to go?