Could Arkansas Football win the SEC in 2022?

Could Arkansas Football win the SEC in 2022?

Arkansas football had a surprisingly strong 9-4 performance in 2021. Could 2022 see the Razorbacks go as far as to win the SEC?

It is widely accepted that the pinnacle of college football’s current totem pole is where the SEC West sits, as last season saw all seven of its programs establish themselves as bowl teams. One of those seven was Arkansas football, which had a stunning turnaround by winning more games (9) than they had in their previous three years combined (7).

With this newfound success, the Razorbacks have already seen recent superiority over divisional adversaries Texas A&M, Mississippi State, LSU, and Auburn (outperformed Auburn by the record, but not head-to-head).

As for Ole Miss and Alabama—the only two schools in the West division that were unquestionably better than the Razorbacks—even they couldn’t manage to top the Hogs by more than seven in each of their meetings.

This sharp increase in formidability has Saturday Blitz’s own Connor Muldowney humoring the chances of the Pigs making a playoff run this Fall. Now I wouldn’t go that far, but I do think that there are grounds for this question: is there any chance that the Arkansas Razorbacks could go as far as to win the SEC in 2022?

The answer ultimately comes down to the makeup of Arkansas’s conference slate which, at first glance, already gives them a huge break by not including the Georgia Bulldogs, AKA the defending National champions.

Of the eight SEC schools that the Hogs will be facing this season, only three are official road games: Mississippi State, Auburn, and Missouri, all three of which were mid-tier powers in 2021.

Their 4th, unofficial away battle is against the noticeably-more-promising Texas A&M Aggies and will be taking place in Arlington. But while that is a much tougher challenge than any of the other aforementioned road games, it is nonetheless against a team that saw a convincing 20-10 loss to the Razorbacks last year.

What about their home games?

Meanwhile, their four Fayetteville-based league matchups will include South Carolina, Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss in that order. Of that bunch, the Gamecocks were the only ones to not encounter the Hogs in 2021, and they took advantage of such an opportunity by pulling off a relatively-pleasant stretch of their own.

But while South Carolina may have done a good job at proving that it, too, is on a noteworthy rise, it wasn’t anywhere near the level that Arkansas was at last Fall. So, especially with them having to head into Razorback territory, the Gamecocks should only be so big of an obstacle.

The goal here isn’t to act like the Pigs have an easy ride to Atlanta, though. There are certainly some games here that, despite Arkansas surviving them last season, are in no way promised victories.

Because of this, any chance of the Razorbacks even appearing in the SEC title game will require assistance from an outside influence. In other words, teams like Alabama and Ole Miss need to mess up like they almost did on multiple occasions in 2021.

At that point, the Hogs could hypothetically sneak into Atlanta and, with a stunning upset over Georgia, prevail as this year’s Southeastern Conference Champions.

So in summary, do the Arkansas Razorbacks have a chance to win the SEC in 2022? Yes, but will they? Probably not, because if we’re going to keep referring to last season to see what all these upcoming one could have in store, then we have to do so with the last time the Pigs and Dawgs faced off against one another—and that day was not quite as inspiring as some others.

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