SEC Football: Way-too-early 2015 Power Rankings

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Nov 22, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Alex Collins (3) and wide receiver Keon Hatcher (4) celebrate after the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Mississippi 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9: Arkansas Razorbacks

2014 Finish: 7-6, 2-6 SEC, 7th in SEC West
Key Losses: FB Patrick Arinze, WR Demetrius Wilson, TE A.J. Derby, OT Brey Cook, DE Trey Flowers, LB Braylon Mitchell, LB Martrell Spaight, CB Tevin Mitchel, CB Carroll Washington, FS Alan Turner
2015 Recruiting Class: 21st in nation (19 commits)
2015 Prediction: 6th (tie) in SEC West

Like Kentucky’s Mark Stoops, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema is entering his 3rd year on the job, and has been slowly rebuilding the Hogs into SEC contenders. It took a while for Arky to break that string of conference losses, but once they did, they looked more relaxed and were a better team down the stretch.

That said, this team is still a few great players away from returning to the top of the conference. They hang their hat on the running game and defense, and do both quite well. Taking some hits on the defensive side of the ball in departing players won’t help their cause.

The Razorbacks are just hard to figure. They could end up having one of those magical seasons and surprise everyone, but chances are it will continue on the path of slow rebuilding.

Next: LSU