Friday, September 3, 2010

Razorblogger's 2010 Predictions

It's time for Razorblogger's overly optimistic predictions for the upcoming football season. Last year, I was overly optimistic, but actually fairly accurate. We'll see about this year.

I do see a lot of points being scored, but I don't have us scoring 60 or more points in any games.

How optimistic are my predictions?

Well, I am predicting an undefeated regular season.

I am not going to predict much beyond that, but I will make vague predictions on who our opponents will be. My crystal ball does show a BCS bowl for the 2010 season. Not sure about a Heisman, but I predict we will have at least one finalist in New York for the Downtown Athletic Club's ceremony. Will the Crystal Ball come to Fayetteville? This team thinks they have a shot to do something special this year...

Sept. 4, 2010 Tennessee Tech 59-13
Arkansas goes buck wild in the first half of this game. Size and speed are obvious advantages for the hogs as they score easily on four of their first five drives. Mallett throws for four touchdowns, but the running backs live up to their unit nickname (Four Headed Monster) putting on the show with all four running backs scoring touchdowns in the game. Backup QBs look solid throwing with high completion percentages in the second half. Defense creates 3 turnovers and looks solid against the run, but Petrino remains unsatisfied with the defensive backfield.

Sept. 11, 2010 ULM 52-20
Little Rock was rocking for this night game at War Memorial. Everyone comes away pleased with the Razorbacks except Coach Petrino, who is still harping on the defense for giving up too many yards and too many big plays due to players being out of position. Mallett had another big game, and the Heisman talk is buzzing with the numbers he's putting up. The two game total is already over 500 yards with 8 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Razorbacks move up the polls pushing for a spot in the top ten, but pundits remain skeptical with the SEC opponents looming. However, everyone recognizes that the defense is much improved over 2010 and the Hogs avoided any major injuries in the first two games.

Sept. 18, 2010 at Georgia 38-28
The Razorbacks head to Athens with a chip on their shoulder and get revenge for their loss the previous year. Ronnie Wingo and Knile Davis bring back flashes of DMAC and Jones as they rack up 100 yards each on the ground and wear out Georgia's defense. Mallett has another solid performance, but throws two picks early. He makes up for his picks with 250 passing yards and 3 TDs. The defense stepped up their game and shut down Georgia's running game and put pressure on Georgia's QB. This win pushes Arkansas into the top ten, and the hype goes national. ESPN appears to have bought into the hype, at least for the time being, since they've announced that Gameday will be in Fayetteville next week for the game against the undefeated, defending national champions Alabama Crimson Tide. The Heisman/National Championship hype is way too loud and way too early, but it's everywhere.

Sept. 25, 2010 Alabama 31-20
ESPN College Gameday is back in Fayetteville for a matchup of two top ten teams. Arkansas is ranked 10 going into the game, and undefeated Alabama remains number 1. The vibe in Fayetteville is optimistic and confident. Every hog fan wants a win, and the mood is contagious. This game turns out to be a ground game battle with passes sprinkled in for both teams. Mallett is able to use play action fakes to throw for some big gains against Alabama's inexperienced defensive backfield. The highlight of this game is the option run out of the pistol, or "shot," formation, which gives the Razorbacks 350 yards on the ground, doubling their passing yards. The upset pushes Arkansas all the way up the polls to number 4, and Alabama slides to number 5. The national coverage of the hogs explodes as the media recognizes the improvement on defense and the dynamic offense. The number one attribute of this team? Leadership.

Oct. 9, 2010 at Texas A&M 35-24
The Razorbacks face an improved Aggie squad, but Arkansas is still bigger, faster and stronger. Greg Childs steps up big and introduces himself to the A&M defensive backfield. Jake Bequette sacks A&M's all star QB 3 times and causes a fumble that he recovers. Darius Winston gets an interception and shows his 5 Star skills taking it to the house for 6. The offense is salt and pepper with the run/pass combo, which was nearly balanced at 200 yards a piece. Broderick shows his short yardage skills in this game scoring at the goal line and picking up key 3rd down conversions. Hogs move up to number 3 with this win.

Oct. 16, 2010 at Auburn 31-28
ESPN Gameday returns to the SEC for a matchup between two undefeated top three ranked teams. There is a lot of talk about BCS opportunities for these teams. The talk is all about Arkansas though. Not just the team, which was now in an unfamiliar place, but the Arkansas connection on the Auburn team. Auburn's offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, a former Arkansas high school coach and Razorback offensive coordinator, has 3 all-stars starting on his side of the field in WR Kodi Burns, RB Michael Dyer, and OT Lee Ziemba. Unfortunately for Malzahn, the Razorbacks love beating up on these traitors, and it shows in this game as some wicked hits come from Arkansas's defense. This game his a slogfest, and Arkansas wins late with an Alex Tejada field goal. There are no stars in this game as it was a genuine team effort. Tight ends DJ Williams and Ben Cleveland both scored, which is somewhat unusual for Arkansas's offense. The Razorbacks become the number one team in the nation.

Oct. 23, 2010 Ole Miss 49-17
Finally. Petrino gets past Nutt, and this time it's for good. Houston Nutt is suffering a miserable year in Oxford with QBs Masoli and Stanley both suffering from injuries. Houston has two walkons picking up the slack. Karma. Mallett has a big game throwing touchdowns to Childs, Wright, Adams, Hamilton, Williams and Wingo. The Razorback ground game is solid too earning 300 yards and a touchdown. Defense is solid as a rock in this game shutting down the passing game, the running game, and the desperate trickery from the Nuttster.

Oct. 30, 2010 Vanderbilt 38-13
Mallett gets a breather, and backups provide solid relief. Tyler Wilson and Brandon Mitchell impress with clock management and consistent passing. The running backs put on the show in this game, and the tight ends are all over the field blocking, catching, and scoring. Special teams step up in this game and looks like they're now something to talk about.

Nov. 6, 2010 at South Carolina 28-21
Going on the road to Columbia turns out to be tough for the Razorbacks after a comfortable stretch on the home turf. This ESPN night game brings about a loud home crowd, and Mallett struggles. He throws three interceptions in this game and only one touchdown. After going down early and trailing at half, Petrino leans on the running game in the second half and has some luck as the Razorbacks score 3 unanswered touchdowns on the ground in second half to win the game and hold off the Cocks. Broderick Green proves to be a bull as he carries the load late in the game gaining 50 yards on 8 carries for a touchdown on the final scoring drive. Petrino takes a deep breath after this game as do all hog fans hoping for the dream season.

Nov. 13, 2010 Texas-El Paso 49-21
Cakewalk. The Razorbacks throw up some impressive numbers in this game, and some freshmen shine in the second half. Petrino allows the first team offense to take the entire fourth quarter off. Everyone is talking Mallett for Heisman, and the video highlights back it up.

Nov. 20, 2010 at Miss. State 28-17
Rain, rain, rain. Yup...I'm predicting weather too. This turns out to be a rushing battle that ultimately is won in the trenches. Arkansas's depth on the offensive line and at running back allow the Razorbacks to defeat a well coached Mississippi State team. The men up front on defense step up their game as well, and create turnovers that are key changes in field position. The bulldogs show flashes of greatness, but lack of depth is pretty clear in this game. The Razorbacks are pleased with this win, but more pleased when their plane takes off from Starkville. Wingo proves that he can run in the mud better than any of the other backs.

Nov. 27, 2010 LSU 38-32
The number one Arkansas Razorbacks are playing for a national championship game here. If they lose, they likely slip out of the picture, even with an SEC Championship victory. LSU brings in a decent squad with great athletic ability. Their 7 win record is not a great reflection of their talent. Unfortunately, Les Miles has let the team slip out of his hands. While this game is a decent battle, the Razorbacks are playing for much more than a bowl placement, and it shows. The Razorbacks win this game despite a late push by the Tigers in the final minutes of the game. It's not a miracle this time, but it goes down as an instant classic.

The Heisman appears to clearly Mallett's, and the Razorbacks are in the driver's seat for the National Championship game, but they must get one more win against the SEC East's best team. It won't be easy, but it is necessary to make the BIG game. The national media turns on the hogs, and the doubters return. What will happen in that big game? Will Arkansas win the SEC Championship? Will they get a shot at the Sears Trophy? Can they win the BIG game? Time will tell...

Dec. 4, 2010 TBD (Florida/South Carolina)

Jan. ?, 2011 TBD (Nebraska/Ohio State/TCU)

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