Throughout time there have been many teams that needed a boost at certain points. The Arkansas Razorbacks needed a total resurrection from the depths of football purgatory. A decade nearly went by before the folks asleep at the wheel in control of each move the program made were ousted.
Arkansas athletic director, Hunter Yurachek made an out of the box hire with Sam Pittman. It was questioned around the country as a head scratching hire. An offensive line coach hired at a big time university. Who does something like that? Again, Arkansas was the laughingstock around the SEC and College Football world but they didn’t know what was to come.
Arkansas head coach records through 27 games w/ SEC records:— Jacob Davis (@JacobScottDavis) September 29, 2022
Sam Pittman 15-12 (8-12 SEC)
Chad Morris 4-18 (0-14 SEC)
Bret Bielema 11-16 (2-14 SEC)
Bobby Petrino 15-12 (6-11 SEC)
Houston Nutt 20-7 (11-6 SEC)
Danny Ford 13-13-1 (8-10-1 SEC)
When Pittman hired Barry Odom and Kendal Briles as his coordinators, folks started taking Arkansas a little bit more seriously. Maybe the rebuild wasn’t going to be as hard as first thought.
The culture began to change, recruiting immediately picked up and players were playing within the systems set in place. There was a belief in the locker room that Arkansas could compete and that’s certainly what they did instantaneously.
Fast forward to 2022 and things are on the brink of becoming special. What happened last Saturday in Jerry’s World should have no bearing on the overall view of the Razorback program. They’re tough, full of veterans and guys who are going to give Pittman 100-percent each game.
Up and down this roster the Hogs have restocked with plenty of quality talent to still make noise in the SEC. They have become competitive with nearly every program they go up against.
There’s no longer the feeling around the team and its fans of all “I hope we win.” Now it’s “I expect to win this game.”
The Razorbacks have a chance to do something that their program hasn’t achieved in over a decade. By beating Alabama on Saturday it would accelerate the progress this program is making. Defeating Nick Saban puts a coach in a small group who have defeated a team he leads.
Finally, I encourage you to give Pittman the respect he deserves. Stats don’t lie and he has led Arkansas to its best stretch of football success since the Petrino era. Stop dwelling on the past decade and be proud of what Arkansas has become: players in the SEC.