Just because no games have been played yet doesn’t mean we can’t make a guess on which bowl Arkansas will end up in. If we’re making record predictions (and most everybody is doing that) we can take a guess at which bowl the Hogs get to play.
In case you’ve forgotten, the SEC bowl selection procedure is pretty simple, but parts of it are somewhat complicated. It goes as following:
- College Football Playoff
- Sugar Bowl
- Any other New Year’s Six Bowls
- Citrus Bowl
- Pool of Six (Liberty, Music City, Texas, Outback, Belk, TaxSlayer.com Bowls)
- Birmingham Bowl
- Independence Bowl
If you’ve read my posts on bowl projections the last couple of years, I’ve tried to make a point that many don’t seem to grasp yet regarding the Pool of Six bowls. At least officially, the SEC views all six of them equally. For instance, Arkansas made the Texas Bowl with a 6-6 record in 2014 and LSU went to the same bowl last year with a 9-3 record. I believe there will come a day, if the league keeps this setup for long enough, that Arkansas will go to the Liberty Bowl with a 7- or 8-win record.
But since the Razorbacks went to Memphis last year, they’re not likely to make a return trip this season. I believe that Arkansas will most frequently rotate between the Liberty, Texas, and Music City bowls whenever the Hogs get a Pool of Six slot, which is where they’ll be this year if they finish with the largely expected 7-5 or 8-4 record.
So, if you want my preseason bowl projection, since the Razorbacks played in the Texas and Liberty Bowls the last two seasons, Arkansas will end up heading to Nashville to play in the Music City Bowl against an ACC school. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be against Bobby Petrino’s Louisville team because the Cardinals played in that bowl last season.
Mark it down. With a pencil. And have an eraser handy. Because a great win here or there, or if the offensive line is a disaster and the offense can’t move the ball, that prediction could change.
Here’s where other media outlets have the Razorbacks going:
SB Nation: Texas Bowl vs Oklahoma State
ESPN: (Mark Schlabach) Belk Bowl vs North Carolina, (Brett McMurphy) TaxSlayer Bowl vs Virginia Tech
Bleacher Report: I didn’t have the patience to flip through this slide show. So I honestly don’t know. If someone else wants to go through it and let me know where they have Arkansas, go for it.
CBS: Texas Bowl vs Texas (again!)
Sports Illustrated: Belk Bowl vs Pittsburgh
Fox Sports: TaxSlayer vs Miami
Athlon: Belk Bowl vs North Carolina
There you have it. It seems some in the national media think Arkansas is more likely to head much farther east this winter than I do, so we’ll see what happens. Where do you want Arkansas to go?