FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas’ 2018 football schedule was released Tuesday afternoon, and it’s a sight for sore eyes as far as the Razorbacks are concerned.
Arkansas opens the season with an FCS opponent, doesn’t play a nonconference game against a Power 5 team, gets five straight home games (Oct. 6 to Nov. 10) and has its SEC East crossover games against Missouri and Vanderbilt.
The Hogs don’t face a Power 5 opponent in the nonconference despite being required to do so per SEC rules. The reason: Michigan bought out its home-and-home contract with Arkansas for 2018 and 2019 in July 2016. Due to the late cancellation, Arkansas submitted a waiver to instead play Colorado State and received approval from the SEC.
There also are plenty of bonuses based on how the schedule lays out for the Hogs’ opponents. For example, three Arkansas opponents face Alabama the week before taking on the Hogs. Here are seven Arkansas opponents that face a difficult game(s) prior to playing the Razorbacks:
- Colorado State plays rival Colorado on Sept. 1.
- Auburn hosts LSU on Sept. 15.
- Texas A&M plays at Alabama Sept. 22.
- Vanderbilt will face the Hogs in Little Rock on Oct. 27 after playing at Georgia (Oct. 6), Florida at home (Oct. 13) and at Kentucky (Oct. 20) in consecutive weeks.
- LSU plays the Crimson Tide on Nov. 3.
- Mississippi State travels to Alabama on Nov. 10.
- Missouri is at Florida (Nov. 3), home vs. Vanderbilt (Nov. 10) and at Tennessee (Nov. 17) in consecutive weeks before hosting Arkansas on Nov. 24.
Oh, and while LSU is taking on Alabama, the Razorbacks will have a bye week. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is 7-2 in his career coming off a true bye week, pending the result of the Hogs’ matchup with Texas A&M this Saturday.
What more could the Hogs ask for? It’ll seemingly never be easier for Arkansas than its 2018 schedule.
Here’s the full schedule with home games in caps:
- Sept. 1 – EASTERN ILLINOIS
- Sept. 8 – at Colorado State
- Sept. 15 – NORTH TEXAS
- Sept. 22 – at Auburn
- Sept. 29 – vs. Texas A&M (Arlington, Texas)
- Oct. 6 – ALABAMA
- Oct. 13 – OLE MISS
- Oct. 20 – TULSA
- Oct. 27 – VANDERBILT
- Nov. 3 – Open date
- Nov. 10 – LSU
- Nov. 17 – at Mississippi State
- Nov. 24 – at Missouri
Note: Arkansas will play one SEC home game at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark. That game has not been designated, though it likely will be against Vanderbilt.