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SEC 2009 // The Arkansas Agenda

This is simply an overview of each of the Arkansas Razorbacks' games this season; predictions come Thursday.

9.5 :: vs. Missouri State (Little Rock)
You might think that this is just an easy game against an FCS school, but the Hogs will apparently be so winded after this week that they have to take a break.

9.19 :: vs. Georgia
Two teams trying to sort things out meet in Fayetteville. Arkansas already looks to have its offense figured out, but Georgia could still be trying to put things together after the losses of Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno. A blowout by either team could signal a good year ahead, but anything else will probably leave us with just as many questions about both as we have going in.

9.26 :: at Alabama
Considering that the Tide's two preceding foes are FIU and North Texas, there's little reason to imagine Alabama will be distracted when the Hogs come to Tuscaloosa. Look for something closer than last year's 49-14 demolition. A little bit closer, anyway.

10.3 :: vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, TX)
Had this game been played in 2008, it would have been a truly awful spectacle with the same entertainment value as multiple root canals. Last year's below-average offense and terrible defense means the Aggies could find themselves in a big hole and unable to catch up if they haven't made great strides in the off-season, but 10 offensive starters return, including QB Jerrod Johnson, meaning this could end up being a tough game for the Hogs.

10.10 :: vs. Auburn
Could this be a revenge game for Bobby Petrino? Consider that Gene Chizik got the job Petrino wanted. Frivolity out of the way, we should know enough about both teams at this point to accurately gauge what this game means. A three-point Arkansas win last year knocked Auburn from the rankings and came in the middle of a 1-6 skid that sealed the Tigers' first losing season since Tommy Tuberville's first year.

10.17 :: at Florida
Arkansas was unfortunate enough to be the first team to face Tim Tebow's tears in 2008, and ended up losing to the Gators 38-7. There likely won't be any tears for Tebow prior to this year's meeting, though a match the previous week with LSU could mean the Hogs could get a distracted Florida and only lose by 20.

10.24 :: at Ole Miss
Phil Steele makes an interesting point about this game: Houston Nutt is on a five-game winning streak. He won his last four games with Arkansas and his first one with the Rebels. (Yes, Arkansas fans -- Ole Miss fans are still thanking you.) This ends a brutal six-game stretch for the Razorbacks, and if they're at least 3-4 at this point, they have a great shot at a bowl bid.

10.31 :: vs. Eastern Michigan
Homecoming cupcake. Eastern Michigan plays in the MAC, and it's last winning season was in 1995.

11.7 :: vs. South Carolina
Actually, South Carolina and Arkansas are rivals of a sort. Or at least they're supposed to be. When the SEC split into two divisions in 1992 after the Hogs and the Gamecocks entered the league, each team was given two permanent rivals, later pared down to one. As Arkansas and South Carolina were the new members, they ended up with each other. Recent years have produced some great games: The Darren McFadden-fest of 2007, when South Carolina defenders literally could not stop him; the 26-20 Hogs win in 2006, when Blake Mitchell resurrected his career (again) and Houston Nutt made the fateful decision to bench Mitch Mustain; and the 2001 tilt, in which a middling Arkansas team knocked South Carolina from the ranks of the unbeaten and the Top 10.

11.14 :: vs. Troy
Sun Belt teams should not beat SEC teams, though Arkansas came dangerously close last year against Louisiana-Monroe. If the Hogs have a similar problem this year, we'll already know their season is headed downhill.

11.21 :: vs. Mississippi State (Little Rock)
Little Rock fans are really getting the short end of the stick this year, with the least compelling non-conference game and the least compelling league game both taking place in the capital. There's a good chance, though, that they'll either see Arkansas clinch bowl eligibility with a sixth win or end any doubt with a seventh.

11.28 :: at LSU
The annual tilt with LSU will not be the day after Thanksgiving game, as has been the tradition in years past. But at least one past game will linger -- the Hogs upset of the Bayou Bengals last year capped off a season-ending collapse for the Tigers, something Les Miles and Co. aren't likely to forget.


MONDAY: Arkansas Rebuilds with Offense
LATER TODAY: Darren McFadden is Still Unfair; Bobby Petrino's 'Stock Speech'
WEDNESDAY: The Depth Chart
THURSDAY: Predictions
FRIDAY: Feedback and Conclusions