Though the 2015 season has five games remaining, the Razorbacks found out they have an historic schedule looming in 2016 as the SEC released schedules on Thursday.
Arkansas will play four SEC teams at home in Razorback Stadium for the first time in history, will reunite with an old Southwest Conference foe and play in the state of Texas twice — which, needless to say, helps recruiting in those fertile grounds of the Lone Star State.
Best matchup: at Auburn (Oct. 22)
The Tigers came to Fayetteville this season and played an epic four-overtime thriller, only to fall to the Razorbacks, 54-46. Auburn will look for revenge while Arkansas will have a new quarterback with seven games under his belt by this time. Jordan-Hare Stadium will be rocking in this SEC West showdown that has spurned trash talk and bad blood in recent years.
Toughest matchup: vs. LSU (Nov. 12)
It’s scary to say that LSU may be one year away from being the hands-down best team in the land. Look at it this way — the current Tigers are No. 4 in the nation with a true sophomore quarterback (Brandon Harris) and two true sophomores at receiver (Malachi Dupre, Trey Quinn) and perhaps wide receiver Travin Dural if he returns. Don’t forget this year’s beast of a running back Leonard Fournette, the Heisman leader who’s a true sophomore, will be back next season. LSU also churns out freaks on defense on a yearly basis. Tough matchup? You bet.
Toughest stretch: Oct.8 – Nov.12
Let’s see — Alabama, Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida and LSU. Try naming a stretch in the country that’s tougher. Thank goodness for the bye week in the middle of all that. Those five teams are a combined 30-7 this season. The good news is that four of those five games are in the friendly confines of Razorback Stadium (Auburn is the road game). Get through that stretch, then the Hogs finish with road games at Mississippi State and Missouri.
Biggest trap game: vs. Louisiana Tech (Sept. 3)
Arkansas will have a new quarterback playing his first game and the team could be excited about the following week’s road trip on Sept. 10 to current No. 5 TCU, a team Arkansas hasn’t played since 1991 in the now-defunct Southwest Conference. The Bulldogs are no stranger to knocking off big-time programs (ask Alabama and Mississippi State) and pushing other big-name schools (Nebraska, Kansas State) to the brink of upset in early-season games.