I've been doing research in preparing my preseason picks, and two interesting things about Arkansas came up almost together yesterday. It's a bit much to cram into the picks piece, so I put them here.
If the Razorbacks are going to have a big season under Bobby Petrino, they need to find a way to win on the road. Granted it's been a tough road for the Pigs the last two years, but here's what they've done:
- 2008: Loss to 12-1 Texas 52-10
- 2008: Win over 5-7 Auburn 25-22
- 2008: Loss to 7-6 Kentucky 21-20
- 2008: Loss to 7-6 South Carolina 34-21
- 2008: Loss to 4-8 Mississippi State 31-28
- 2009: Loss to 14-0 Alabama 35-7
- 2009: Loss to 13-1 Florida 23-20
- 2009: Loss to 9-4 Ole Miss 30-17
- 2009: Loss to 9-4 LSU 33-30
If you're counting at home, that's a 1-8 record. Only two teams finished with the same record as or worse record than Arkansas did ('08 Auburn and Mississippi State), and they went 1-1 in those games. There were some close ones last year, but this is a hump they must get over.
Here is a record of South Carolina's wins over Arkansas. They are each other's assigned inter-division "rivals" and play every year.
Notice something with those opponent records? The Gamecocks have never defeated Arkansas in a season in which the Razorbacks finish above .500. That doesn't bode well for South Carolina this year because Arkansas almost certainly will finish well above the .500 mark.
The converse isn't true, but it's close. South Carolina lost to two below-.500 Arkansas teams in 1992-93, but every other Gamecock loss in the series came to an above .500 Arkansas team.