2016-17 Football Previews – (SEC) – Razorbacks
Looking for 2016 Arkansas Razorbacks predictions? When you are in the same division as Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and more it can be tough to measure progress but I think Arkansas is advancing. Things were really rolling (back to back 11 win seasons) but then Bobby Petrino did what he does the program got set back.
NCAA Football Gambling Lines
2015/16 Record: 8-5
Head Coach: Bret Bielema
Odds to win SEC: +2000
Odds to win National Championship: +10000
Win Total: 7.5
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Since Bret Bielema has arrived they have improved in the win column every season. More importantly, they know who they are and they are good enough to get results with what they do.
You might not have remember last year they won at LSU…handily and won at Ole Miss too.
Coming into 2016 most are predicting they will take a step back though.
They will be replacing a multi year starter at quarterback and refreshing more than half of their line up front.
Navigating the SEC West is never easy but this season they get all the top teams visiting Fayetteville so if things progress quickly they could be an influencer, if not a true factor on the national picture.
I just don’t see an epic season in disguise at this point.
Arkansas Razorbacks Predictions: Team Strengths
Is self awareness a strength? Even though the Razorbacks are going to have some significant turnover on offense at least they know who they are.
They recruit players that fit what they want to do – old fashioned smash mouth football – and do a good job coaching them up when they arrive.
Even though only three starters return on offense, only a couple of starting roles are expected to go to underclassmen so the players know what they are supposed to do and just have to go execute.
On defense eight starters return including most of the front seven that posted the 12th best rushing defense in the country last season.
Staring down a bunch of SEC teams that love to be physical that aspect of the team may prove whether they can maintain their recent success.
Arkansas Razorbacks Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Arkansas, under Bielema, wants to be a dominant running team.
The assumption being that if you have the hogs up front and some talent in the backfield that you can run for 200 yards with ease is ignoring that that you also need legitimate passing threat.
Even though he was never the focus of the offense Brandon Allen was a three year starter who got better every season and was drafted into the NFL this spring.
His replacement will be his younger brother Austin, who has thrown less than 20 passes in a backup role the last two seasons.
They need him to keep the passing game at a strong enough level to given them a chance against teams in the SEC that can grind you up in the trenches if that is all you’ve got.
Most of the returning players on defense are up front but they have to be better in the secondary. They were 116 in passing yards allowed last season.
Arkansas Razorbacks 2016 Prediction:
The facts bear out that Bielema has the program pointed in the right direction and if they had Brandon Allen back for another season the Razorbacks might be in the significant run all the way to the playoffs sleeper category because the schedule sets up nicely.
They do have a tough road tilt at TCU the second week in which both teams will be seeing how their new quarterbacks are faring against real competition – but it is winnable. After that all of their toughest opponents have to visit including Alabama, LSU.
Ole Miss and a crossover game against Florida.
They went 2-1 against those division opponents last year, with wins in Baton Rouge and Oxford and even though they are hosting this season, odds are they lose at least three of those four contests and trips to Auburn and Arlington to play Texas A&M are no gimmes.
Scheduling is always key to college football and when I look at the slate for this year’s Razorbacks I am not overly optimistic with what they have coming back.
Normally I love them as an underdog but the best bet this year is probably to fade them against that win total.
2016 Arkansas Razorbacks Football Schedule
- 9/3/16 4:00 PM ET LT
- 9/10/16 7:00 PM ET @TCU
- 9/17/16 7:30 PM ET TXST
- 9/24/16 TBD @TAM
- 10/1/16 TBD ALCN
- 10/8/16 TBD ALA
- 10/15/16 TBD MISS
- 10/22/16 TBD @AUB
- 11/5/16 TBD FLA
- 11/12/16 TBD LSU
- 11/19/16 TBD @MSST
- 11/25/16 3:30 PM ET @MIZZ
What do you think about our 2016 Arkansas Razorbacks predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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