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Razorbacks in SI's Preseason Top 25, But Just Barely

Hogs sixth-ranked team from SEC, but bigger question is why Cincinnati is even listed in Top 25
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Apparently somebody knows something about Arkansas' opening opponent than just about everyone else.

Cincinnati is ranked ahead of the Razorbacks in the early preseason Top 25 for SI by Athlon Sports, a member of the Sports Illustrated Media Group.

It's okay if your first reaction was, "do what?" It was mine, too.

The Hogs were ranked No. 22 while the Bearcats, who are the season opener Sept. 3 at Razorback Stadium (2:30 p.m. on ESPN and Fubo.tv), are ranked 15th.

After being 4-4 in the SEC last season, the expectations are higher this year, mainly for the reasons they list in the article:

Can Arkansas exceed expectations for the third season in a row under coach Sam Pittman? A brutal schedule and just nine returning starters are some of the obstacles to overcome, but the Razorbacks are positioned for a run at their first winning record in SEC play since 2015.

The Hogs were the six-ranked team in the preseason poll behind Alabama, Georgia (of course), Texas A&M (5), Tennessee (18) and Kentucky (21).

Most surprising is the Cincinnati ranking.

They lost a lot when players that ran the table in a junior varsity conference were beat up by Alabama in the College Football Playoff.

Apparently some folks think they are poised to at least have a good year before they jump to the Big 12 in 2023.

Despite significant losses on both sides of the ball, winning double-digit games for the fourth time in five years is within reach for the Bearcats.

The reality is any preseason poll released towards the end of May won't exactly be an accurate power index for August.

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