Arkansas hasn’t quite hit the mid-point of the season, but several media organizations are projecting the Hogs to get one more game after the all-SEC slate ends in early December. In fact, every bowl projection I’ve found has the 2-2 Hogs moving on to a bowl. Not bad for a team that hasn’t come close to playing an extra game in the last three years.
A couple reminders: win requirements for bowl eligibility have been waived this year. In previous years, a .500 record (or a 5-7 record with a high APR score in a few cases) was required to compete in bowl season. Also, with the Holiday Bowl’s cancellation last week, four bowls have been cancelled so far, and more may come. At this point, no bowls involving SEC tie-ins have been affected, but it’s something to watch out for.
Here’s some projections for where the Hogs will be bowling in the post-season.
Arkansas vs Oklahoma, Texas Bowl
Kyle Bonagura of ESPN has the Hogs taking on the Sooners in Houston for the Texas Bowl. The Hogs are 4-10-1 all-time against Boomer. The teams last met in the 2002 Cotton Bowl, when Oklahoma’s defense smothered Arkansas, 10-3. The coolest time the Hogs had against the Sooners was the 1978 Orange Bowl.
Arkansas vs Texas, Texas Bowl
Mark Schlabach of ESPN also sees the Razorbacks headed to Houston, where he sees them taking on the much-loathed Longhorns. Texas is Back (in a mid-tier bowl)! The Hogs and Horns last squared off in the 2014 Texas Bowl, when the Hogs’ defense embarrassed Texas, to the tune of 31-7. Texas is set to visit Fayetteville next September, potentially setting up two match-ups in the span of three games.
Arkansas vs Kansas State, Texas Bowl
Mark Crawford of 247Sports is also expecting a Hog visit to Houston. He’s got the Hogs taking on the Kansas State Wildcats. The Wildcats have been a frequent bowl opponent of late for Arkansas, involving themselves in two of the last four Razorback bowls. Arkansas won the 2012 Cotton Bowl, 29-16, and took the 2016 Liberty Bowl, 45-23. The teams each have three wins in the all-time series.
Arkansas vs Iowa State, Texas Bowl
Kind of a pattern here so far! Erick Smith of USA Today has got the Hogs taking on the Iowa State Cyclones in Houston’s NRG Stadium. The teams have played once ever in football: Frank Broyles’s Hogs took down Earle Bruce’s ‘Clones in 1973, 21-19. Iowa State’s current head coach, Matt Campbell, was a popular name when the Razorback head coaching job opened up last year.
Arkansas vs Utah, Las Vegas Bowl
College Football News went against the grain and picked the Hogs to travel west to Las Vegas to face the Utah Utes in Sam Boyd Stadium. This is the first year that the Las Vegas Bowl is featuring a Pac-12 vs. SEC match-up, which has been a long time needed. Teams in the two conferences rarely face each other, so this would be really exciting! Arkansas hasn’t faced a team from the Pac-# since USC in the mid-aughts (don’t wanna talk about it) and hasn’t been to the Las Vegas Bowl since 2000 (also keeping quiet on that subject). Arkansas and Utah have never faced each other in football.
Arkansas vs Minnesota, Music City Bowl
Jerry Palm from CBS Sports apparently wants to see a rematch of the cursed 2002 Music City Bowl, when Minnesota kicked its way into a victory over Arkansas, 29-13. Seriously, the Gophers’ kicker was named the MVP of the game. It was miserable, and I’d almost forgotten the game existed. That was the only time Arkansas and Minnesota have played on the gridiron (watching these basketball highlights to soothe me). I will say there’s potential for this game to be exciting, with P.J. Fleck turning the Golden Gophers into an actually interesting squad.
How do these sound to you? Where would you like to see the Hogs play? Is it enough that we’re even talking about it in late October?