With the SEC Meetings being held next week in Destin, Fla., bits of news for the upcoming football season are being released, such as the kickoff times for the Arkansas Razorbacks’ first three football games.
The Razorbacks will open the season on Sept. 3 with a marquee contest when the Cincinnati Bearcats roll into Fayetteville for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff against the Hogs at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium that will be televised by ESPN.
It is the first of a record seven home games at Razorback Stadium, and marks only the second time in 91 seasons that the Razorbacks have not played a game in Little Rock. Arkansas did not play in the state’s capital in 2020 because of a reduced SEC-only schedule as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Bearcats are coming off an undefeated regular season that saw them become the first non-Power 5 team to play in the four-team College Football Playoff, losing a first-round game to Alabama, 27-6.
The Razorbacks, who were 9-4 last fall, will get an early start on Week 2 of the season with an 11 a.m. kickoff against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Sept. 10 for the Hogs’ SEC opener. The game will be televised by ESPN.
On Sept. 17 former Razorback coach Bobby Petrino (2008-2011) will return to Razorback Stadium with his Missouri State Bears. The game will kick off at 6 p.m. and will be streamed by SEC+/ESPN+.
The Razorbacks also know the kickoff time for their final game against Missouri. The Battle Line Rivalry will be played at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25 – the day after Thanksgiving — on CBS in Columbia, Mo.
Kickoff times for the rest of the season will be announced two weeks to 10 days before the games.
In what is perhaps the most challenging schedule the Razorbacks have played outside of 2020’s 10-game all SEC schedule due to Covid-19, the Hogs hit the road to Arlington, Texas for its annual neutral-site matchup with Texas A&M on Sept. 24.
The Razorbacks will then host Alabama, expected to be the No. 1 team in the nation when the season starts, at Razorback Stadium on Oct. 1.
If that game wasn’t tough enough, the Hogs’ October schedule gets brutal for coach Sam Pittman’s Hogs with three road contests broken up by an open date on Oct. 22.
The Razorbacks go to Starkville, Miss. to face Mississippi State on Oct. 8, the jet off to Provo, Utah to face Brigham Young on Oct. 15. The Razorbacks have an open date before traveling to Auburn on Oct. 29 to face the Tigers.
That’s a grueling six game stretch in the middle of the season with four of five games away from the friendly confines of Razorback Stadium, and the only home game being against Alabama, the program that has dominated college football for the last dozen years.
Even if the Razorbacks are a better football team than last season, with the way those five games are stacked might make it difficult for the Hogs to match or better last season’s record.
I’m not trying to be negative with that comment but rather realistic. As the homer that I am, I hope I’m wrong. Some are predicting a 10-win season, and if that happens, I will be yelling “Sooie” as loud and as long as anyone.
Former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze brings his Liberty Flames to Fayetteville on Nov. 5.
The Razorbacks host LSU on Nov. 12 and their new coach Brian Kelly, who is already stirring up dust by reportedly saying he wants to beat Nick Saban. Playing ’Bama a couple of times during his tenure at Notre Dame didn’t go so well for him or the Fighting Irish. Why is he kicking a bee hive before he’s coached one SEC game, I’ll never know?
Ole Miss visits Razorback Stadium on Nov. 19 for what on paper looks like will be a fun barn-burner between Pittman’s Hogs and Lane Kiffin’s Rebels.
As always since joining the SEC, the Razorbacks’ boast one of the toughest and most entertaining schedules in college football, and I like others can’t wait. Just 99 days and counting until the season kicks off.
Arkansas 2022 Football Schedule
Sept. 3 – Cincinnati, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sept. 10 – South Carolina, 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Sept. 17 – Missouri State, 6 p.m. (ESPN+/SEC+)
Sept. 24 – vs. Texas A&M, TBA
Oct. 1 – Alabama, TBA
Oct. 8 – at Mississippi State, TBA
Oct. 15 – at BYU, TBA
Oct. 22 – bye week
Oct. 29 – at Auburn, TBA
Nov. 5 – Liberty, TBA
Nov. 12 – LSU, TBA
Nov. 19 – Ole Miss, TBA
Nov. 25 – at Missouri, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)