Dean Legge / Dawg Post

Legge's Thoughts: 2016 Arkansas Preview

HOOVER, Ala. – Here's a look at Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and the Hogs heading into the 2016 season.

Last season: 8-5, (5-3 SEC)

Last game vs. UGA: UGA 45, ARK 32 in Little Rock

Series Record: UGA leads 10-4

Last five meetings vs. UGA: UGA 4, ARK 1

Most memorable Georgia win: 2002 SEC Championship game – David Greene is named the MVP, and Georgia wins its first SEC title in 20 years. 

Most painful Georgia loss: 1969 Sugar Bowl – Georgia falls to Arkansas after winning the SEC title. It was the Bulldogs' only loss of the season. 

Legge’s Take: Raise your hand if you remember Arkansas having the third-best season in the SEC West last year. Probably no one remembers that the Hogs ended last season going 7-2 with losses to only Alabama and a bizarre one-point loss to Mississippi State. The Hogs beat Tennessee, Ole Miss and LSU last season. All three of those programs ended the season ranked in the Top 25. 

So what does that mean for the 2016 season? If Arkansas is truly progressing - as it appears from the end of last season - might we expect the Hogs to be the possible surprise of the SEC West this fall? Maybe. This is the same program that knocked off No. 20 LSU, No. 8 Ole Miss and “mighty” Texas to end the 2014 season. 

It didn’t do much to help the Hogs jump start the season. In fact, the start of the season seems to be the problem for Arkansas under 4th-year coach Bret Bielema. His group has lost no fewer than two games before the end of September each of the past three seasons (2013 - 3-2, 2014 - 3-2, 2015 - 1-3). Games at TCU and the rivalry game with Texas A&M present early-season challenges for the Hogs. 

If Arkansas can finally avoid a slow start it might have the ability to push for its first trip to Atlanta since 2006.

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