When you are a team in the SEC you are basically in one of two groups. You are either among the top half and will be in the mix for the SEC championship and with that the BCS championship game as well, or you are in the bottom half constantly fighting for respect, running the gauntlet that is the conference schedule. While a conference championship is out of reach, teams understand as do the rest of the country that even being at the bottom of the SEC doesn’t automatically mean you are a bad college football team. This is where the Razorbacks find themselves this season.
The University of Arkansas Razorbacks had a nightmare of a season in 2012, finishing 6th of seven teams in the SEC West. This is certainly not what Arkansas fans were hoping for, and looking ahead to 2013, their goals certainly have to be more lofty than that. With new head coach Bret Bielema in place, things appear to be turning the corner for the Razorbacks, but is 2013 too soon to be thinking about getting bowl eligible?
I think it might be. Looking over the Razorbacks schedule, it’s more than a little daunting. It beaks down like this. Seven home games and only five road games, which sounds like it plays to the benefit of the Razorbacks, but it’s the names on the schedule that make things a little more complicated.
By any standard that schedule is brutal. If I were to break down the games I think are near locks for wins, I would say Southern Miss., UL-Lafayette and Samford, but beyond that, there won’t be any gimmies on this list. If we assume they are able to get by Rutgers and Auburn that means they still have to get one more win against the final eight. The fewest wins last year of any of those remaining teams was seven, so it’s going to mean the Razorbacks pull off at least one upset. Maybe that home tilt against Mississippi State or they steal one on the road against Ole Miss. Whichever game or games it is, this team is going to have win when no one thinks they can if they want to find themselves in a bowl game.