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Last year in the SEC West, there was a point that the Arkansas Razorbacks, Alabama Crimson Tide, and LSU Tigers were ranked Nos. 1, 2, and 3 in the nation. This year though, matters are basically going to start over for these three teams, as they try to work their hardest to get back in the chase for the BCS bowl games and the National Championship Game. Alabama and Arkansas don’t quite have the same type of returning year though, as the Tide had a great offseason chock full of more recruits and high expectations, while Arkansas had to go through the dismissal of its head coach and a totally new scheme to put into place. This is going to be one of the top games in the SEC all season long, and especially since it is so early in the season, it is a game that we are going to watch on the college football betting odds as one of our Top 25 college football games of the year.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Picks & Info
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Date: Saturday, September 15th
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Location: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
Alabama vs. Arkansas Opening Point Spread: Alabama Crimson Tide -6
Alabama vs. Arkansas Current Point Spread: Alabama Crimson Tide -20
The Crimson Tide won the BCS National Championship last year, and this time around, they are going to be favored to do the exact same thing. There are only going to be 12 returning starters from last year’s title team, but at Alabama, the Tide don’t rebuild; they reload. And that’s exactly what we have seen so far this year. The talk of the town in Tuscaloosa is that this is the best offensive line in the country. Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack are anchoring what should be an awesome line to block for QB AJ McCarron and a loaded running back stable. We think that this is a team that has the potential to put up a ton of points like it did last year, and at least at this point in the season, that has proven to be the case. Defensively, the Crimson Tide are always amongst the best team in the land, and this is no exception even though there are only five starters back in the fold. This early in the year though, it should be a bit of a task to ask some of these freshmen and sophomores to come on the road for the first time in what should still be a hostile environment.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Past Games (Since 1995)
2011: Alabama 38 – Arkansas 14
2010: Alabama 24 – Arkansas 20
2009: Alabama 35 – Arkansas 7
2008: Alabama 49 – Arkansas 14
2007: Alabama 41 – Arkansas 38
2006: Arkansas 24 – Alabama 23
2005: Alabama 24 – Arkansas 13
2004: Arkansas 27 – Alabama 10
2003: Arkansas 34 – Alabama 31
2002: Alabama 30 – Arkansas 12
2001: Alabama 31 – Arkansas 10
2000: Arkansas 28 – Alabama 21
1999: Alabama 35 – Arkansas 28
1998: Arkansas 42 – Alabama 6
1997: Arkansas 17 – Alabama 16
1996: Alabama 17 – Arkansas 7
Head Coach Bobby Petrino is out of the loop after some major off the field issues, but the cupboard isn’t nearly bare for the new coach, John L. Smith. There are only seven starters that are back on offense, but the losses of the likes of WR Joe Adams, WR Greg Childs, WR Jarius Wright, and RB Broderick Green won’t hurt the team all that much. QB Tyler Wilson is a senior quarterback now, and the fact that he is going to be out of the fold injured is why this point spread has jumped up by two touchdowns. The offensive line only has three returners, and that could really be exploited against the terrorizing Alabama defense. The defense will be challenged as well, though at least the secondary has three starters that are back. Watch out for LB Alonzo Highsmith, who could be the centerpiece of this lineup, though he could find it tough to get into the Alabama backfield as he did last year against the majority of the SEC. The defense is going to have to keep the Hogs in this game from start to finish, because if the offense’s play last week against Louisiana Monroe was any indication, it is going to be a long, long game for them against Bama.
Alabama @ Arkansas Free Picks (as of August 2012)^^: We know that this could be a tough test for the Crimson Tide early in the year, but we just don’t see how the Razorbacks, with so many changes going on this year, are going to be able to beat the big boys from the SEC West. Arkansas might live to tell about this in the end, but we just don’t think that Wilson is going to be able to get the job done, even at home. Alabama should be able to punish the Arkansas offense, and that could send the end result of this one into a romp for the guests.
Update 9/14/12: Obviously, matters changed in this game when Wilson was knocked out for the biggest game of the year. The Crimson Tide really have looked great and are the top ranked team in the nation. Arkansas will be hard pressed to figure out how to stop this offense, and it will surely have a tough time scoring points. The crowd is literally going to have to be the 12th man on the field for the whole game if Arkansas has a fighting chance.
^^Please Note: The Alabama @ Arkansas picks listed above on our sports betting blog are made by our staff writers. These football picks are based upon the betting lines listed in August 2012 and do not reflect the actual expert handicapping picks at Bankroll Sports. Click Here to receive our premium expert handicappers NCAA Football Picks for the 2012 campaign.
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