Arkansas and Missouri Face a Common Opponent: Unpredictability // SEC 2012: The New SEC

The future isn't exactly coming in loud and clear -- for Missouri or for Arkansas.

The issue with Arkansas and Missouri this year isn't necessarily the "beta" that we talked about with Tennessee and Texas A&M; the odds that the Hogs and the Tigers are going to be solid teams this year are very, very high. But there's still an element of unpredictability to their seasons that could leave you wondering about whether they're simply going to mid- or top-tier bowls or perhaps looking at something even better in 2012.

After all, Arkansas still has that whole "interim coach" deal that looks more and more odd the more we learn about it. And there's simply the unpredictability that comes from losing a play-caller like Bobby Petrino, no matter what you think of his brother or the overall stability on the coaching staff. It's not that the bottom is going to fall out for Arkansas; this is probably still a nine- or ten-win team no matter what happens. But it's hard to be 100 percent sure, and 100 percent sure of which games they'll win or lose, when there's that much of a wild card in play.

For Missouri, the unpredictability isn't just moving into a different conference, though that's part of it. There's the issue of just how ready James Franklin (MO) is going to be the first couple of weeks. There's also the issue of the Georgia game, which could be affected just as much by which players are and aren't on the field for the Bulldogs as any lingering issues from Franklin's surgery. Still, there are enough players who are likely to be gone or rusty to raise questions about whether the Tigers can beat a conference front-runner in Week 2.

The other thing to factor into all that is that both teams have relatively manageable schedules -- "relatively" being the key word, because there's really no such thing as a manageable schedule in the SEC. A home game against Rutgers isn't exactly going to drive your strength of schedule through the roof, while both of Missouri's BCS opponents come to Columbia. (We really need to talk about this non-conference BCS scheduling, Missouri. That and the visiting UCF stuff.)

So it's likely that both of these teams will be very good -- though I think Missouri gets an example of the bizarre way Florida bowls work in the SEC, with the Outback taking the SEC East runner-up and the Gator picking Florida because it's Florida. Still, a shot at a double-digit win isn't anything to complain about during your first season in the SEC -- or during your first season without a famous head coach.

ARKANSAS

Place: 3rd in the SEC West
Record: 10-2, 6-2 SEC
Could be: 7-5 to 12-0
Best chance for an upset: LSU
Bowl: COTTON

9.1.12 | JACKSONVILLE STATE | WIN
9.8.12 | LOUISIANA-MONROE | WIN
9.15.12 | ALABAMA | PROBABLE LOSS
9.22.12 | RUTGERS | PROBABLE WIN
9.29.12 | at TEXAS A&M | PROBABLE WIN
10.6.12 | at AUBURN | POSSIBLE WIN
10.13.12 | KENTUCKY | PROBABLE WIN
10.27.12 | OLE MISS | PROBABLE WIN
11.3.12 | TULSA | PROBABLE WIN
11.10.12 | at SOUTH CAROLINA | POSSIBLE WIN
11.17.12 | at MISSISSIPPI STATE | PROBABLE WIN
11.23.12 | LSU | PROBABLE LOSS

MISSOURI

Place: 3rd in the SEC East
Record: 9-3, 5-3 SEC
Could be: 6-6 to 11-1
Best chance for an upset (aside from the obvious): at SOUTH CAROLINA
Bowl: MUSIC CITY

9.1.12 | SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA | WIN
9.8.12 | GEORGIA | POSSIBLE LOSS
9.15.12 | ARIZONA STATE | PROBABLE WIN
9.22.12 | at SOUTH CAROLINA | POSSIBLE LOSS
9.29.12 | at UCF | LIKELY WIN
10.6.12 | VANDERBILT | PROBABLE WIN
10.13.12 | ALABAMA | PROBABLE LOSS
10.27.12 | KENTUCKY | POSSIBLE WIN
11.3.12 | at FLORIDA | POSSIBLE WIN
11.10.12 | at TENNESSEE | POSSIBLE WIN
11.17.12 | SYRACUSE | PROBABLE WIN
11.24.12 | at TEXAS A&M | POSSIBLE WIN

Key (from least likely to win to most): Loss, Likely Loss, Probable Loss, Possible Loss, Possible Win, Probable Win, Likely Win, Win

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Team Speed Kills

You must be a member of Team Speed Kills to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Team Speed Kills. You should read them.

Join Team Speed Kills

You must be a member of Team Speed Kills to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Team Speed Kills. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker