As is customary with the SEC, we have next year’s schedule while only a quarter of this year is completed. We already knew the opponents but now we have the dates.
Aug. 31 - vs. Portland State
Sept. 7 - at Ole Miss
Sept. 14 - vs. Colorado State
Sept. 21 - vs. San Jose State
Sept. 28 - vs. Texas A&M (in Arlington)
Oct. 5 - BYE
Oct. 12 - at Kentucky
Oct. 19 - vs. Auburn
Oct. 26 - at Alabama
Nov. 2 - vs. Mississippi State
Nov. 9 - vs. Western Kentucky
Nov. 15 - BYE
Nov. 23 - at LSU
Nov. 30 - vs. Missouri (in Little Rock)
The first notable thing is the inclusion of a second bye week. The placements of these are in pretty good spots for the Hogs in terms of consecutive games played. Both byes will come after playing five consecutive games, which should help with fatigue and injuries throughout the season. No stretch of an early bye followed by nine straight games this year. Also there is only one game this season (Auburn) where the opponent has a bye week before playing the Hogs.
The negatives include only two SEC games in Fayetteville. Following what is almost certainly going to be a historically bad year, a home slate of Portland State, Colorado State, San Jose State, Auburn, Mississippi State, and Western Kentucky won’t have people lining up for season tickets. The season is also pretty back loaded in terms of quality. The final six game stretch has to be among the toughest in the country and will not be fun for a team that could need 1-2 more games for bowl eligibility.
Still the schedule is navigable for the team. Any schedule with four home games against G5 opponents, and no Boise, UCF level teams, should provide opportunities to become bowl eligible.