Yeah, everybody knows Arkansas’ schedule is rated as the most difficult in the country again, mainly because they can’t schedule themselves.
As we sit around in June waiting on the SEC’s annual circus of propaganda that starts July 19, when you sit back and look at the list of games in total there are really only eight games you would put in Ruscin & Zach’s ‘Getable’ category.
That’s a trademark phrase Derek Ruscin and Zach Arns use on their show from 3-7 p.m. on ESPN Arkansas and while it has a plethora of applications, we’re limiting it to the Hogs’ football schedule.
• The games Arkansas won’t win unless the other team misses the bus to the game or there’s another panic attack over covid are pretty clear-cut:
Texas, Sept. 11: Fans won’t like hearing it but don’t be shocked if the Longhorns come in here and do an Alabama-type tap-dance in Razorback Stadium (close for a quarter, then a steady pulling away). The Longhorns have more talent and Steve Sarkisian wasn’t a bad coach before he fell off the wagon at Washington and USC.
Texas A&M managed to beat Arkansas since joining the SEC in 2012 and recently they have started pulling away. Jimbo Fisher has the Aggies right behind the top teams and could slip through the door.
Georgia gave Razorback fans some hope for a half last year in Razorback Stadium then pulled away. They may not allow any hope this year. If something changes on that the story will be more about what happened to the Bulldogs and Kirby Smart’s buyout than the Hogs suddenly getting better.
Alabama is going to, well, continue to be Alabama. The game is in Tuscaloosa this year and late in the season when Nick Saban starts positioning for the Auburn game the next week.
• The Hogs do have three games that should be wins even if they rest some starters and nobody is expecting Rice, Georgia Southern or Arkansas-Pine Bluff to be much of a challenge. Not blowing out those types of teams is why Chad Morris didn’t last two complete seasons.
• Two games are not written in ink on either side of the Getable list because nobody really knows what to think about Auburn or LSU. Both of those games should have been wins last year, but officials stole one (Auburn) and the Hogs blew one (LSU) or feelings might be different. Historically, though, both of these games are put in the Getable category for now.
• That leaves the usual suspects. Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Missouri are three games where the Hogs have to win (at a minimum) two out of three. Don’t expect a prediction because too many questions and not enough answers now on those teams just like the Hogs.
Arkansas is going to have to win the three Getable non-conference games, split the two games unknown and take two out of three to get six wins.
Winning one of the four not on the Getable list now will probably mean a good bowl trip, but don’t look for that answer here in June.
With eight Getable games, the Hogs have to win 75% of them to reach bowl eligibilty.
The path is pretty clear but the obstacles aren’t as obvious right now.