Fayetteville, Ark. – The University of Arkansas released the 2013 college football conference schedule on Thursday. Several changes are on the horizon for the Arkansas Razorback program while several questions are left unanswered with the new football conference schedule.
The 2013 Arkansas Razorback College Football Schedule
Aug. 31, Louisiana-Lafayette, Fayetteville
Sept. 7, Samford, Little Rock
Sept 14, Southern Mississippi, Fayetteville
Sept. 21, Rutgers, Piscataway, N.J.
Sept. 28, Texas A&M, Fayetteville
Oct. 5, Florida, Gainesville
Oct. 12, South Carolina, Fayetteville
Oct. 19, Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Nov. 2, Auburn, Fayetteville
Nov. 9, Ole Miss, Oxford
Nov. 23, Mississippi State, Little Rock
Nov. 30, LSU, Baton Rouge
Breaking Down the Schedule
Louisiana-Lafayette is an up and coming program in the Sun Belt conference. At the time of this writing the Cajuns are 4-2, 2-1, with a really bad loss to Oklahoma State (65-24) and North Texas (30-23). Should be a penciled in win for the Hogs but after this year’s loss to Louisiana-Monroe Razorback Nation will be on a “SMU Watch” not seen since the Danny Ford era.
Samford? Really? Arkansas does not need to schedule this Alabama team to win a game over an Alabama based school; Auburn is on the docket for that. Fans in Little Rock, how excited are you for this showdown against a sub-division program?
This does little to help recruiting. Is there a Texas based team the Hogs can play instead of Samford?
The Razorbacks already play two Mississippi based schools, why add a third? Arkansas has not recruited the state well over the last few years, going 3-0 against the state will not attract the state’s top recruits, better recruiting will.
Arkansas has now loaded up six of their 12 games against two in-state schools; Samford, Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss, Southern Mississippi, and Mississippi State. This seems like a waste of time outside of an assumed win and live reps for the team against somebody other than their teammates.
The pain of the 35-26 loss still stings, like an ice cream headache that will not go away!
One of the payback games for Razorback fans in 2013 will be the Scarlet Knights. Most of Razorback Nation is still in shock that the Hogs lost to a Big East team, especially Rutgers.
The Aggies opened up the playbook on Arkansas to the tune of a 58-10 drumming; payback for the last three years of Razorback dominance over their former Southwest Conference rivals?
A&M gets one trip into Fayetteville before the rivalry goes back to Cowboys Stadium in 2014.
How does this always happen? The Hogs always get Florida when their program is at the top of their game. Seems the Razorbacks never catch Vanderbilt or Kentucky, except for this year, on their down cycles either.
The team that should be here is Missouri not Florida. The SEC let it be known that they wanted Arkansas to square off against Missouri as permanent cross division rivals yet Florida ends up on the schedule. Further proof the SEC does not like Arkansas.
The Gamecocks are highly ranked this year and may well exact revenge on Arkansas come Nov. 10, for the years of dominance the Hogs have exerted over South Carolina, but this is still South Carolina.
The Gamecocks have a senior laden defense while the offense has one real weapon in running back Marcus Lattimore. Unless Lattimore gets hurt again you will be watching him on Sunday’s in 2013. This game looks menacing because the Old Ball Coach still gets respect for his days in Florida. Time will tell just how good this South Carolina team is this year and next year.
One can guess that the squeaky wheel got the attention they wanted here. The University of Arkansas has let it be known they did not want to play Alabama as their SEC opener; but why? Now that the game has been moved into the middle of their schedule, after playing A&M, Florida, South Carolina, then Alabama, has the odds for an increased advantage against Alabama increased?
How one really could hate the old format is curious. Start the season with three warm-up games then play Alabama, that’s a solid plan. That plan has not worked out now the Hogs get a murder’s row lineup in the middle of their season. Guess everyone got what they wanted?
Any chance Auburn will have turned around their program by this time next year, doubtful. Gene Chizik has too much talent on his roster to keep wasting it away. Chizik is a couple of years removed from a national championship so he might get a pass in 2012 but one can guess if he does not show major improvement in 2013 he will be long gone before the ball drops for 2014.
Hugh Freeze has done a great job of improving the attitude and play of the Rebels on the field. How that adds up in terms of SEC wins will be better than the last two seasons under Huston Nutt but will not put the program anywhere close to being a SEC team ready to take that next step.
Ole Miss out recruits Mississippi State with in-state talent year after year. Freeze can take a big step over MSU but that might be as big as that step gets in Oxford.
Arkansas fans in the capitol city get Ole Miss this year then Mississippi State next year. The Bulldogs will lose the majority of their offensive line and their secondary to graduation at the end of 2012. This is another winnable game for the Hogs assuming… well, lot’s of things.
For now the end of the season game is set up for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. One has to wonder if CBS will pick this game up for their Friday game or not in 2013? Assuming much will depend on how competitive this year’s game turns out.
LSU got a wakeup call against Florida on the road and answered the call a week later when South Carolina rolled into town. The Tigers still have something to play for with Alabama looming on the schedule Nov. 3. If Bama destroys LSU in Death Valley the Tigers may not have much spunk come Thanksgiving weekend.
The other thought here is if CBS passes on the Arkansas vs. LSU matchup in favor of say LSU vs. A&M, will this end of the regular season game be against Missouri in 2014?
Now go back and look at Alabama in the middle of the regular season schedule with the possibility of playing LSU within one week of the Tide or a week following. If Jeff Long loaded this up for the Razorbacks coaching staff he has done the football program and the fan base no favors.
All in all, and based on previous season performances and records, the Hogs could be in line for an 8-4 season. Arkansas will have a new head coach with new systems on offense and defense come spring 2013. How quickly the team adapts to the new structures, rules, guidance, and motivational approaches used by the new staff will dictate immediate success on the field or if 2013 is a rebuilding year for the Hogs.