Driving viewers in first week likely to determine matchups across SEC

| allHOGS •

Arkansas will have a lot of talking points when the SEC announces the football schedule Monday but there’s not a lot of really attractive options out there for wins.

That schedule, especially the first week, is going to be about getting the most amount of people watching on television far more than anything in the vicinity of fairness, but here’s a look at some possible storylines.

Fans probably aren’t going to get a lot of consideration because it doesn’t look like there will be a full house anywhere … it’s about television ratings.

We’ll never know, of course, what determines anything. The league will be about as transparent on what determines the actual schedule as they have been with choosing the additional cross-division opponents for every team,

Here’s a stab at a couple of ways this could go for the Razorbacks:

Best storyline

This one is simple … Georgia comes to Fayetteville and Sam Pittman will at least have some information on the opponent after coaching the Bulldogs’ offensive line the last few years.

Exactly how much that means is anybody’s guess.

“Man, that’s a loaded question,” Pittman said during a Zoom press conference last Friday. “If we played ’em early that might give us a little more of an advantage because we know something about ’em.”

He also knows that probably isn’t that large of an edge.

“The bottom line is Georgia has some really good players, they are well-coached,” he said. “We know some of their schemes and all that. They have a new coordinator on offense. We know basically what they’re running and things of that nature but you’re going to see that on film.”

Franks back to Florida?

With Feleipe Franks the likely starting quarterback, it’s a slim line to have him return to Gainesville where he played (and graduated) from before coming to the Hogs.

How important that could be is something we won’t know about until we get a shot to ask because he hasn’t been available since the surprising addition of the Gators to the schedule.

“You’ll have to ask Feleipe,” Pittman said Friday.

First-year coaching matchups

With new coaches at Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Missouri, pitting them against each other carries an argument to be made that would be fair for a group that didn’t even get a spring practice with their teams.

With nearly half of the SEC West having new coaches this year, it would be fairly easy.

Considering the uncertain status with the global pandemic and things subject to be shut down any week, playing the Egg Bowl would get that out of the way. The same thing with the Battle Line Rivalry.

The only team with a first-year coach in the SEC West not playing Missouri is Ole Miss, so there’s no way to get a complete rotation of first-year coaches.

Biggest rating games to move to front

1. Alabama-Georgia. This is the game that’s been circled by college football fans long before things went sideways in March.

2. Florida-LSU. This was a traditional cross-rival game with the defending national champions playing a team from the East that is projected to be very, very good again.

3. Auburn-Texas A&M. The battle for the pecking order right behind Alabama and LSU in the West.

If these games aren’t scheduled early, it’s a roll of the dice everything is going to continue throughout the year with everybody holding their breaths.

But this could provide an insight to Monday’s announcement of the full schedule.