FAYETTEVILLE — Earlier in preseason I went on a few radio stations and gave my opinion on what Arkansas’ record could be this football season.
I broke it down into four categories. First, win your six games in Fayetteville. Second, defeat UAPB in Little Rock. That would give you seven wins. Third, I said they aren’t going to beat Georgia or Alabama. So that makes them 7-2. Then you have Texas A&M in Arlington and road games at Ole Miss and LSU and how may of that trio they win determines their final record.
At this point, Arkansas is 3-0 in Fayetteville. They have Auburn this weekend and then Mississippi State and Missouri in November. They have defeated A&M and lost to Ole Miss with LSU still to play in November. They lost to Georgia and will take on Alabama in November. So now if they win their seven in-state games that would assure them of eight wins plus the game at LSU.
No fan of Arkansas should be unhappy if Arkansas goes 9-3 pr 8-4 which is still very possible. It won’t be easy of course because never is winning an SEC game easy. But Arkansas has six opponents left and in only one of those games can you say Arkansas will probably not win it and that is Alabama.
They will beat UAPB in Little Rock. The Missouri, Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State games are ones they could win them all or lose them all or any combination of wins and losses.
There was at least one coach who turned down the Arkansas job because he was afraid the job wasn’t a good one and so bad he might get fired in his second year. Sam Pittman took a different approach to the Arkansas job. It was his dream job and he jumped at the offer from Hunter Yurachek to become the head coach of the Razorbacks.
Year 2 is here and Pittman’s team has a legit chance to finish as high as 9-3 on the season. They may very well not win out except for Alabama, but it’s pretty clear that Pittman is in no danger of being fired and his career being ruined like the other coach feared. Pittman talked about Monday where he feels the program is at right now.
“There’s a lot of pressure that comes with success,” Pittman said. “I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure that comes with losing, too. I don’t really want to get used to that part of the pressure. There’s a lot of pressure. Once you start out like we did, the fanbase starts getting excited about you can go beat the Green Bay Packers. With that comes a lot of responsibility. I would much rather have it that way. Being 4-2 is certainly not where we want to be, but we can’t sit there and think it’s been a terrible season to this point. Certainly, wish we would have been able to convert the two-point play or stop them or make the field goal or not get a turnover, whatever it may be, and be 5-1. But, I’m proud of our kids and the way they play. I’m proud of our coaching staff. We have to get better. I have to do a better job, and once I do that it’ll trickle down. I’m proud of where we’re sitting at this point, and I’d probably be lying to you if I told you anything else.”
One thing that would really help Arkansas target in on nine wins is do something on Saturday they haven’t done under Pittman and that is win a game that begins at 11 a.m. Arkansas is 0-5 under Pittman in 11 a.m. (CT) starts. Yes, the game at Georgia was a noon kickoff there, but still 11 a.m. here. Both Auburn and UAPB are 11 a.m. starts.
And as Pittman said with success comes pressure. I’m sure some will read this and be offended I said they won’t beat Alabama considering A&M did Saturday night. As I said this is what I predicted in preseason when I broke the schedule down to four layers. Of course Arkansas will go to Alabama with the thought of winning that game just as they did at Georgia. I make predictions on what I think will happen.