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Arkansas doesn't leave the state for a full month-plus in 2018.

National analyst says Arkansas football’s ceiling is 6 wins? Ha. Nope.

Eric Bolin

Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.

Don’t proclaim I never said anything nice about Arkansas.

Not sure that six wins being the Razorbacks’ ceiling for this football season is accurate, though. Ceiling means top, as in, if things go right, the maximum amount of wins Arkansas could get — its ceiling — is six.

Mmm, probably not.

Is six the most likely win total if most things go right? Definitely. But to say it would take an absolute miracle for Arkansas to beat some of the teams it’s probably an underdog against isn’t right. Let’s take a quick peek at the schedule.

  • vs. Eastern Illinois
  • at Colorado State
  • vs. North Texas
  • at Auburn
  • vs. Texas A&M
  • vs. Alabama
  • vs. Ole Miss
  • vs. Tulsa
  • vs. Vanderbilt
  • vs. LSU
  • at Mississippi State
  • at Missouri

Get the “definite” wins and losses out of the way first, so we can just toss them. Wins: Eastern Illinois, Tulsa. Losses: Auburn, Alabama. Sorry if you want to quibble about the Auburn game, but we’re not doing that this morning.

That leaves eight games that could, in theory, go either way. Some of them are far more likely to be wins. Some are far more likely to be losses. North Texas, Vanderbilt and Colorado State are not as good as Arkansas. Per ESPN’s Football Power Index, Arkansas has a 78 percent chance, or greater, of beating each of those teams. Meanwhile, Mississippi State, Missouri and Texas A&M all have a 75 percent chance, or greater, of beating Arkansas.

Two games to toss up if we grant those outcomes. Arkansas would sit at 5-5. The Ole Miss game is a pure pick ’em. The Rebels beat Arkansas in by 50.9 percent of projections. Then there is LSU. LSU holds only a 57.9 percent chance to beat Arkansas. Not exactly a lock.

Would suggest seven wins isn’t out of the question.

Seven wins isn’t likely. Do not come back here in a few months and say “You wrote Arkansas would get seven wins.” Most definitely I am not writing that. May not even pick Arkansas for six. However, to say Arkansas’ ceiling is six wins? I can’t go for that. No. No. No can do.

Get them brooms, Arkansas

The regular season is over at Baum Stadium. All that’s left is a final series for the Razorbacks on the road, the SEC Tournament and then NCAAs. Those NCAAs, by the way, are all but guaranteed to be held in Fayetteville.

That’s because after Arkansas swept Texas A&M on Sunday, the Diamond Hogs locked up a top-4 finish in the SEC. They’ll have a first-round bye for the league tournament next week. Considering how good the SEC is, that the Razorbacks have spent practically all year in the national top 10, and could be ranked in the top 5 in the country later Monday, they won’t fall out of the top 16.

Where Arkansas wants to ensure it ends up is in the top 8. The top 8 national seeds all host the NCAA Tournament until the College World Series, assuming they make it through to Super Regionals.

Arkansas is almost there.

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ICYMI

  • Hunter Yurachek, Arkansas athletic director, said on the radio exactly what we wrote last week: Arkansas would make a decision on the future of games at War Memorial Stadium in the next few weeks.
  • The Arkansas softball team followed its first win in the SEC Tournament since 2001 with another. Over the weekend, the Razorbacks made the tournament semifinals and established themselves as an actual team to fear in the NCAA Tournament. This isn’t a “feel-good” trip to the tourney like last year.
  • Men’s golf is headed to Norman, Okla., for its NCAA Tournament Regional. The 15th-ranked Razorbacks are the 3-seed there. Tournament begins Monday.

Tweets and the like

Well done to all the Arkansas students who graduated over the weekend. Congratulations.

Three former basketball players walked across the stage. Arlando Cook, Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford.

What a weekend for Arkansas softball.