Florida Gators football: Stats say Arkansas has the ability to give Jim McElwain's team a scare – SECcountry.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Now that Arkansas isn’t ranked in the top 25, many Gators fans have started to assume a win over the Razorbacks. But Arkansas has been a ranked team for much of the year, so what happened?
Well, upon initial inspection their schedule has been pretty brutal. The Gators will be the sixth AP-ranked team that Arkansas has played. Based on the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI), Arkansas’ three losses have come against the No. 1 (Alabama), No. 6 (Auburn) and No. 9 (Texas A&M) teams. Of course, Arkansas has been blown out by each of them, losing by an average of 31 points in those three contests.
Also based on FPI, the Razorbacks wins over TCU and Ole Miss look better than those teams’ combined 5-7 record. TCU is ranked 38 by FPI, and that win came on the road. Ole Miss is ranked 14 despite its 3-5 record owing to its strength of schedule. The issue with Arkansas is that two other wins are against the worst team in FBS based on FPI (Texas State) and a non-FBS team (Alcorn State).
Contrast that to Florida and Gators fans should start to get nervous. According to FPI, the best team Florida has played is Tennessee (19) and the Gators got blown away in the second half of that game. The best wins for Florida are Georgia (42) and Missouri (59).
Add to that one other major variable for the Gators: Luke Del Rio has never started a game on the road.
Last week I indicated that Georgia QB Jacob Eason has major home/road splits in his QB ranking (150.4 home/95.9 road) and postulated that he might struggle against Florida in Jacksonville. Eason struggled and had a QB rating of 91.9.
Del Rio wasn’t much better, posting a QB rating