Phil Steele, a contributor to ESPN.com and expert prognosticator, has pegged Arkansas at No. 20 in his annual Projected AP Top 25. Each year Steele uses several factors to predict the Preseason AP Top 25 and has included the Razorbacks in this season’s projection.
“When Bret Bielema took over the Badgers in 2006, he preached defense and running the ball in leading Wisconsin to top 25 AP finishes five of six seasons. Since taking over at Arkansas, the Razorbacks have improved their rushing attack by 99 yards per game and 1.2 yards per carry, while the defense has improved by 11.2 points per game and 87 yards per game. Arkansas returned only 10 and 14 starters his first two seasons, but 15 are back for 2015. At home last season, the defense held four of its six FBS foes to a season low on offense, including LSU and Alabama, while the other two teams had their third-lowest offensive performance of the season. The Hogs’ 31-7 bowl win over Texas showed what they are capable of, as they held the Longhorns to a mere 59 yards of offense.”
Phil Steele will release his own Preseason Top 25 in his College Football Preview Magazine, which will ship in June.