Big Weekend for Arkansas Football, Especially Considering They Did Not Play This Weekend

Henry Wilson, Staff Writer

It’s a great day to be a Razorback. The Sunday following “Championship Saturday” is always an interesting and eventful one. It is the day that the College Football Playoff is officially decided, bowl games are announced, and new coaching jobs throughout the nation continue to be announced and filled. Arkansas has not participated in any of these festivities, not including the hiring of a new coach, since 2016. During these lows, Arkansas has not been to a bowl in 5 seasons. That streak officially ends today.


It is not like today was the day that the Hogs found out they were going to a bowl, that was decided after the Mississippi State game a few weeks ago, but rather the actual bowl game was officially announced. This was decided as the New Year’s Day bowl in Florida, a pipe dream to any Arkansas fan just two years ago. The Hogs played more than well this year, exceeding the expectations of nearly every pre-season prediction. Vegas, for example, said that Arkansas was going to win 5.5 games this year, and they were quite wrong. Even with the hardest schedule in the nation as awarded by multiple outlets, 8 wins was more accurate. These included dominating performances at the then #15 in the nation Texas #7 Texas A&M  along with respectable wins against #17 Mississippi State, LSU, and Missouri.


The Hogs got a great bowl this year: The Outback Bowl. Yes, many Arkansas fans including myself were wanting the tad more prestigious Citrus Bowl, but the 9-3 Kentucky Wildcats out of the SEC West got that honor to play in that bowl. But hey, at least we get ti make blooming onion jokes for the next few weeks. The Hogs will play Penn State in the Outback Bowl, which is set to Kickoff at 11:00 am CDT on Saturday, January 1, 2021.  


Some sources, such as, have the Razorbacks as the underdog by less than a field goal, while Caesars has the line at -4 for Penn State. Even though Arkansas has one more win than Penn State, Penn State has had more success in recent years with consistently being in the conversation for the College Football Playoff, and they have played an almost equally tough schedule as the Hogs. It’s a bit early to tell what the keys for victory for both teams will be, but for Arkansas, I assume it will be with the ground game and explosive pass plays. For Penn State, I think that it will be capitalizing on their advantage in the air and their defensive prowess. 


Another big thing that happened this weekend was the official announcement of former Oklahoma wide receiver Jadon Haselwood transferring to the Razorbacks for next season, announced per his Twitter. The current junior was rated as the #1 wide receiver of his class in 2019, and #4 overall in the nation. He is seen with huge upside potential, and as a potential leader in next year’s wide receiver core. Also on the recruiting front, two big-time defensive backs visited Fayetteville this weekend for a recruiting visit. 


With these promising signs from the recruiting end along with recognition of the success that Arkansas football had this year with the invitation to the Outback Bowl, it has been a pretty good weekend for Arkansas football.