Arkansas football: Forecasting the Razorbacks’ chances for a bowl game

KJ Jefferson, Arkansas football (Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports)
KJ Jefferson, Arkansas football (Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports) /
Arkansas football
Warren Thompson, Arkansas football (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The path to a bowl game for the Arkansas football team is getting more narrow with each passing week.

The Razorbacks, currently 5-3 heading into the game against Mississippi State, have precious few games remaining to become bowl eligible.

The Hogs have games against Mississippi State, LSU, Alabama and Missouri left on the docket this season.

What does the Arkansas football team have to do to become bowl eligible in 2021?

The magic number to become bowl eligible is seven wins, meaning the Hogs have to win at least one of their final four games.

Let’s take a look the likelihood of these handful of games remaining.

Arkansas football vs Mississippi State

First, is a home game against Mississippi State (5-3). The Bulldogs have the 8th best passing game in the country (360.3 yards per game), but the Hogs only allow 175.4 passing yards a game. If Defensive Coordinator Barry Odom can crack this air raid offense, Arkansas wins this game. That’s been a difficult task for SEC teams as of late. Just ask the Kentucky Wildcats from last week.

 Prediction: Mississippi State wins

Arkansas football at LSU

Next, a road test against a subdued LSU Tigers team. They have wins against Mississippi State and Florida this season, but lost to Kentucky and Auburn. Outside distractions have engulfed the Tigers, but with the team already having acknowledged Ed Orgeron is on the way out at the end of the season, the team may play with less pressure on themselves. This is a winnable game, but the Tigers are tough to beat in Death Valley.

Prediction: LSU wins

Arkansas football at Alabama

The Hogs head to Tuscaloosa to take on one of the top-ranked teams in all of college football: the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama is without question, the hardest team to beat in the SEC. The best chance for the Razorbacks to beat the Tide will be to leverage their 243 rushing yards per game to wear down this very deep and talented team. The only problem is, the Tide allow just 90.3 rushing yards per game.

Prediction: Alabama wins

Arkansas football vs Missouri

Entering the final game of the season against the Missouri Tigers, I project the Hogs will be 5-5. That means whether or not the Razorbacks get invited to a bowl game will come down to the final game. The Tigers have one of the best backfields in the SEC in QB Connor Bazelak and RB Tyler Badie. As of this writing, Bazelak has thrown for more than 2,100 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. Badie has rushed for 997 yards and 11 touchdowns. This game is a coin toss and may come down to whoever has the ball last. I’ll take the Hogs’ home field advantage to give them a leg up and eventual victory.

Prediction: Hogs win

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It’s evident the Razorbacks have very little room for error down the stretch. If they lose to Mississippi State or Missouri, you can kiss the bowl game opportunity goodbye.