SEC Football: Best and Worst-Case Scenario for Every Team in 2015

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Nov 1, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs defeat the Arkansas Razorbacks 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

What 2014 was a fluke? What if all the hype Arkansas has received this off-season is unwarranted? What if departed defenders Trey Flowers, Martell Spaight and Alan Turners can’t be replaced? What if opponents remember how to bottle-up a pro-style offense that uses a tight end and a fullback, and forces Brandon Allen to turn the ball over like he did as a freshman and sophomore?

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There are a lot of what ifs that could play out in a doomsday scenario in Fayetteville in 2015. After all, this is a program that won only seven games combined in 2012 and 2013 and was just 6-6 in the regular season last year.

The Hogs did suffer through a 17-game losing streak in conference play, the last 13 of which were under the direction of Bielema. It’s not that much of a stretch to think the Razorbacks could fall back to earth and miss the postseason for the third time in four years.

The biggest reason to be pessimistic is the brutal schedule. Arkansas must play Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss and LSU all on the road, and must play Texas A&M on a neutral field that happens to be in the Aggies’ backyard. And, the Razorbacks have lost ten games in a row played outside the state of Arkansas. Even the home slate is filled with land mines: Texas Tech is dangerous, as is Mississippi State. Auburn is a national title contender, and Missouri is the two-time defending SEC Eastern Division champs.

Arkansas’ Worst-Case Scenario: The 2015 squad crumbles under higher expectations and misses a bowl game for the third time in four seasons

Next: Best-Case Scenario: Ole Miss