The University of Arkansas football team is ranked 10th in the USA Today preseason coaches’ poll, it was announced Thursday.
The Razorbacks, who opened the 2011 season ranked 19th in the coaches’ poll, return 47 lettermen and 16 starters from last year’s 11-2 campaign, which culminated in a 29-16 victory over Kansas State in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. Arkansas was ranked fifth in the final coaches’ poll last season, marking the program’s first top-five finish since 1977. UA returns eight starters on offense and six on defense, while also bringing back its kicker and punter from 2011. The Razorbacks return 24 players who made at least one start in 2011 (14 on offense and 10 on defense). Arkansas returns its 2011 leader in total offense, all-purpose yards, passing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, kickoff returns, scoring, field goals, extra points, punting, kickoffs, tackles for loss and quarterback hurries. The Razorbacks begin fall practice on Thursday. All Arkansas football practices held outside from August 2-18 will be open to the public. Practices will be closed after August 18. The team is scheduled to practice on the UA intramural fields from Aug. 2-16. Arkansas opens the 2012 football season inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium against Jacksonville State on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. The game will be shown on pay-per-view with details to be announced. For updates on the Razorback football postseason awards campaign, follow @ARKTD2012 on Twitter.