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Arkansas Football: Looking Ahead at the 2014 Schedule

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Previewing the Arkansas Razorbacks' 2014 Schedule

Hogs
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There's nowhere to go but up in Fayetteville; at least, the Arkansas Razorbacks had better hope that is the case after a whitewash of a 3-9 season in 2013, one in which Arkansas went 0-8 in the SEC. There is no easing into the 2014 schedule, with Auburn first up in an opening weekend conference clash. Arkansas hadn't gone winless in conference since an 0-6 mark in the old Southwest Conference ... in 1942! Here's a game-by-game look at 2014.

Game 1: at Auburn Tigers, Aug. 30

Auburn
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Game 1: at Auburn Tigers, Aug. 30

Auburn
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Just what a team that went winless in the SEC last season wants to see on its schedule, a road trip to Auburn to start the new campaign. Auburn probably should have beaten Florida State in last season's BCS title game, but fell just short late. But with Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall suspended to start this game, Arkansas should keep it close for a while. Look for Auburn to pull away late. LOSS.

Game 2: vs. Nicholls State, Sept. 6

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Game 2: vs. Nicholls State, Sept. 6

Nicholls
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This is more like it for the Razorbacks. Probably still starting off what will likely be a 10- to 17-point loss at Auburn, Arkansas comes back for its first home game a week later against FCS opponent Nicholls State. While this game won't necessarily be easy, and it'll be time to sound the panic alarms if Arkansas loses, the Razorbacks will handle their business here, even if the 38-27 final score doesn't flatter Arkansas. WIN.

Game 3: at Texas Tech, Sept. 13

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Game 3: at Texas Tech, Sept. 13

Tech
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Arkansas hits the road again in Week 3 for a tricky contest at the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Razorbacks and Red Raiders, once both members of the Southwest Conference, haven't met since that conference dissolved. Texas Tech won the last meeting, 38-21, in 1991. The last three meetings between these teams have featured an average of 70 total points. That could be true again, advantage to the hosts. LOSS.

Game 4: vs. Northern Illinois, Sept. 20

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Game 4: vs. Northern Illinois, Sept. 20

NIU
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While Northern Illinois will now be without former Heisman Trophy candidate QB Jordan Lynch, seeing the Huskies pop up on the schedule might not be good news for an Arkansas team that will be 1-2 heading into this contest. It's also the final game before a brutal three-game stretch of conference games. NIU will still be sorting out its offense at this point in the season, so Arkansas should win narrowly. WIN.

Game 5: vs. Texas A&M, Sept. 27 (at Cowboys Stadium)

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Game 5: vs. Texas A&M, Sept. 27 (at Cowboys Stadium)

Aggies
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No Johnny Manziel or Mike Evans, but Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin has built his teams in the past on offense and it's not likely that this Aggies team is going to be any different. A week after perhaps seeing an option attack vs. NIU, Arkansas' secondary will probably have to be on guard against A&M. Desperate to avoid going 0-2 in the SEC, Arkansas will rise up and pull off the upset to go 3-2, 1-1 SEC. WIN.

Game 6: vs. Alabama, Oct. 11

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Game 6: vs. Alabama, Oct. 11

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The good news for Arkansas is, the Razorbacks get a bye week to start October, so they will have two weeks to prepare for Alabama. The bad news is, the Razorbacks could have two months to prepare for the Crimson Tide and it wouldn't matter. Even as Arkansas improves, there is still quite the gulf between the Razorbacks and the Crimson Tide. Alabama takes this one handily. Arkansas slips to 3-3, 1-2. LOSS.

Game 7: vs. Georgia, Oct. 18

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Game 7: vs. Georgia, Oct. 18

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Such is life in the SEC. One week after battling perennial national power Alabama, the Razorbacks are in deep again, though at home, against the Georgia Bulldogs. This far into the season, the Bulldogs should be decently adjusted to life without quarterback Aaron Murray, while the Razorbacks are coming off two really tough games. It's a recipe for a blowout, and Georgia wins, 35-10. Arkansas falls to 3-4, 1-3 SEC. LOSS.

Game 8: vs. UAB, Oct. 25

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Game 8: vs. UAB, Oct. 25

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Time for a breather for Arkansas. You can't say the Razorbacks won't have deserved it by this point, no matter what their record ends up being. These teams haven't met since UAB joined FBS, and last season was not good for the Blazers, who finished 2-10, only beating Florida International and Northwestern State. If Arkansas doesn't roll big here, the season might be lost. WIN (4-4, 1-3 SEC).

Game 9: at Mississippi State, Nov. 1

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Game 9: at Mississippi State, Nov. 1

MSU
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Arkansas enters this game seeking revenge after suffering a 24-17 OT loss to the Bulldogs last year at home. It was one of just three SEC wins for Mississippi State, and the Bulldogs are another team trying to find their footing in the SEC after being a recent disappointment. The Bulldogs, however, won their final three games of last season, including over Rice in the Liberty Bowl. MSU gets the win here and drops Arkansas to 4-5, 1-4 SEC. LOSS.

Game 10: vs. LSU, Nov. 15

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Game 10: vs. LSU, Nov. 15

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Traditional rivals who used to play the Friday after Thanksgiving, the new scheduling in the SEC has dictated that this game moves a week or so earlier to mid-November, as Arkansas takes on LSU. In one sense, the Razorbacks are lucky that so many of their high-profile games are at home. But they aren't good enough to win them and that won't change here. LOSS (4-6, 1-5 SEC).

Game 11: vs. Mississippi, Nov. 22

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Game 11: vs. Mississippi, Nov. 22

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En route to eight wins a year ago, the Ole Miss Rebels handled Arkansas, 34-24, in Oxford. The 34 points allowed were a familiar story for the Razorbacks, who finished 89th in the nation in scoring defense. The Rebels will be rebuilding this season and this will be one of the closer, and probably better games on Arkansas' schedule. Going out on a limb and saying the Hogs win this in overtime. WIN (5-6, 2-5 SEC).

Game 12: at Missouri, Nov, 28

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Game 12: at Missouri, Nov, 28

Mizzou
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Instead of LSU, it's Tigers of another color scheme that will battle Arkansas the day after Thanksgiving, as the Razorbacks travel to Missouri. These teams not only didn't play last season in Missouri's first SEC campaign, but they haven't played in the regular season since 1963. Mizzou thumped Arkansas, 38-7, in the Cotton Bowl after the 2007 season. Expecting much the same here. LOSS (5-7, 2-6 SEC).