Welcome to the first installment of ‘Ryan’s Rants’ where I essentially, you guessed it, rant. I’m super pumped for this, honestly. It’s like a journal, where I voice my frustrations regarding all things Arkansas Sports. Hopefully it’s something y’all can relate to and feel that you’re not the only one that has a certain opinion.
Let’s jump into it.
I’m still mad.
On October 10, 2020, the Arkansas Football Team was ridiculously screwed over by the SEC officials. With just a few minutes left and no timeouts on the clock for the Auburn Tigers, they called for a spike to set up a game-winning field goal. Quarterback Bo Nix took the snap, bobbled it, TURNED AROUND AND SPIKED THE BALL BACKWARD.
Now, in the way normal people observe football, a backwards pass is a lateral and a live ball. Since Arkansas plays normal football, safety Joe Foucha (who is having an excellent season, by the way), broke through the scuffle at the line of scrimmage and dove at the ball and recovered the ball.
So, Arkansas gets the ball and can run out the clock, right?
No! Because the aforementioned normal football observers did not include SEC officials. They proceeded to blow the whistle immediately after Nix’s spike, flagged Auburn solely for an intentional grounding, and All-SEC kicker Anders Carlson nailed a field goal to win the game, 30-28.
As we all remember from the Bret Bielema days, the Hogs would always start hot but could not finish. In this game, it was the opposite. Arkansas trailed 17-0 in the game, and came back to have a 27-28 lead before the egregious call.
Why does Arkansas always have bad luck? Why do we never get breaks? As fans, you guys deserve much better than what you’ve gotten the past decade. Ever since Bobby Petrino did his thing that I don’t want to talk about right now, the Hogs have been, at best, mediocre. In all the disappointing game, the Hogs have been their own worst victims. There’s been coaching issues and players just not playing well. But in this one, with a great comeback from head coach Sam Pittman and co., the referees straight up screwed Arkansas over. And everyone knows it.
This would make me angry regardless, but because Auburn has Chad Morris calling plays on the sideline, it makes it so much worse.
Imagining Chad Morris doing the WAP or other TikTok dances in ‘Club Dub’ sickens me. (For all you guys out of the loop, TikTok is an app where teenagers do dances. It’s as weird as it sounds - but hey, your kids can get famous)
Chad Morris seemingly put the Arkansas football program into a hole that they probably couldn’t recover from. His players stopped trying and playing hard for him. He has losses to North Texas, Colorado State, and San Jose State on his resume.
So a guy that screwed up the Arkansas football program and culture is coaching the team that if you beat, you redefine your entire reputation and brand. And you get hosed. I’m surprised Morris was even at the game, honestly. I thought he’d be watching his son, Chandler, down in Norman, Oklahoma, as he was known to do a day before his team played when Chandler was at Highland Park.
Fortunately, it seems that talent was never a major issue at Arkansas the past two years. Ever since Sam Pittman took over, there’s just a different vibe. I’m convinced the Hogs go into every game thinking they can win.
Sure, there are some major flaws. The offensive line is still not very good and special teams needs a lot of work.
I am 100% convinced that Arkansas is one of the top SEC teams right now. They held a lead over Georgia in the first half and beat Auburn as far as I’m concerned. LSU is a bad football team this year, as well. And the best part is that the Hogs are far from the most talented team in the conference. They brought the two most-likely available coordinators they could in Barry Odom and Kendal Briles, and put a staff around them that can recruit at a consistently high level. The Arkansas defense hasn’t played this well since probably 2014 and their offense against Auburn is the best I’ve seen in about 4 years. Sam Pittman has changed the culture here in Fayetteville and I’m excited to see it come to fruition.
Yet, I’m still mad as of right now.
But don’t let the record fool you. Arkansas is 2-1 on the season
Thanks for reading this article. For more hot takes and all kinds of world-class entertainment, follow Ryan on Twitter at @ItsRyanBolding