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Arkansas Razorbacks News: Hogs’ Uphill Climb

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Arkansas has a tough task to start SEC play.

NCAA Basketball: Sam Houston State at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas missed a shot to pick up a resume-boosting win over a top-25 team in Florida. Now the Hogs have a different goal they need to accomplish. Mike Anderson’s squad will be fighting to avoid an 0-2 start in SEC Play. And with Kentucky looming afterwards there will be even more of a need to pick up that first conference win.

To do that Arkansas will have to beat a Tennessee team who has made some big strides recently. Rick Barnes’ team had a tough start to the season in Maui but after a win over Texas A&M, they are looking much improved. There's a lot of basketball to be played, but this look ahead shows how beneficial stealing a road game or two in this part of the schedule could be.

An odd quirk happened in the SEC’s opening weekend. Out of the first five conference games, the road teams went undefeated. Home court advantage is such a big deal, especially in the SEC, making this such a strange occurrence. The most surprising of those was the previously mentioned Tennessee win over Texas A&M.

Right now fans are pretty down on the football team and by extension Bret Bielema. And it's not completely without reason but the sky isn't completely falling. Here are some reasons to be optimistic about the team heading into 2017. Most reasons involve the development of the offense in Dan Enos’ offense and a more winnable home schedule.

So the offense is reason for optimism, but what about the defense? That is a little more cloudy. There is reason to believe it could be a lot more improved, or that it could stagnate some more. Most likely it will fall somewhere in the middle, and will likely depend on how often the 3-4 scheme is used and how well the players take to it.