This is my favorite time of the offseason by far. For a 10th year, the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas has listed its top 100 college football games.
Arkansas is listed in seven of the ‘Games of the Year’ in 2016. You can check out the full list here.
Here’s a breakdown of the games in which Arkansas is on the board:
- Saturday, Sept. 10 – Arkansas at TCU (-4)
I’ve dubbed this game “The Sweat Bowl” because it will involve two of the coaches in college football who without question perspire worse than a majority of other coaches around the country. Bret Bielema will likely be donning his classic red jumpsuit in the DFW heat, and we all know Gary Patterson’s past of having to change shirts during games.
That aside, this should be one of college football’s funnest games early on. Both sides are losing productive starting quarterbacks from a season prior, and there are some unknowns for each program heading into the season.
- Saturday, Oct. 8 – Alabama (-8.5) at Arkansas
Every year Razorbacks fans claim “This is the year the Hogs take down Saban and Alabama!” Never fails. But as of opening these lines, the Tide are a decent favorite over Arkansas, and it appears to be a typical line for when these two meet.
Arkansas has played Alabama very well the last two seasons, and maybe it is the year Bielema can snap the long losing streak the Hogs have against Saban. But the Golden Nugget doesn’t think it’s going to happen.
- Saturday, Oct. 15 – Ole Miss (-1) at Arkansas
This might as well be a push, if you ask me. The Razorbacks have owned the last two matchups with the Rebels, and Hugh Freeze returns to the crime scene that was the 30-0 win in 2014. I could definitely see this game being another shootout.
- Saturday, Oct. 22 – Arkansas at Auburn (-3.5)
This could very well be a pivotal game for both teams. Auburn and Gus Malzahn, who a lot of people have playing better than the O/U projections, probably can’t afford to lose this game if they want to contend and be a pest to Alabama and LSU in the West. For Arkansas, it would be a momentous win heading into a home game with Florida two weeks later.
- Saturday, Nov. 5 – Florida at Arkansas (-2.5)
Speaking of Florida, I wrote in my Arkansas O/U story that the Razorbacks would likely take this one because of the quarterback situation. All Arkansas would need, in my opinion, is 14-17 points. Florida’s defense is traditionally good, and perhaps Jim McElwain is getting things revved up on offense, but I don’t see it happening here. This line is perfect to me. I have Arkansas edging the Gators by a field goal.
- Saturday, Nov. 12 – LSU (-7.5) at Arkansas
Like Ole Miss, Arkansas has owned the series of late with the Tigers. And in the lone loss to LSU, in Bielema’s first year, the Razorbacks nearly stunned the thin home crowd in Death Valley. If I was in Vegas right now, I’d take Arkansas +7.5. These teams are too similar, even with LSU’s high expectations, for this to be a blowout.
- Saturday, Nov. 19 – Arkansas at Mississippi State (-2)
This is another line that could very easily have been a pick ‘em, but with it being in Starkville, I get it. The Bulldogs have a solid home field advantage, and it’s difficult for anyone to win there. I need to see how Mississippi State starts the season and get a better grasp on the offense first before making a decision here.