Come down off the ledge, Arkansas football fans. Yes, yesterday’s 40-17 was Arkansas’s third straight loss in conference play. Yes, it was frustrating for a multitude of reasons.
But, no, the world is not on fire. No, this loss shouldn’t cost people their jobs. No, you shouldn’t start doubting Sam Pittman.
If you went into yesterday’s game thinking that a matchup against a Mike Leach-coached air raid offense would be a bounce-back opportunity for our defense, that’s on you. The Bulldogs are seventh in the country in passing yards per game.
If you went into yesterday’s game thinking that either backup quarterback would be able to put up 35+ points against a defense that’s only allowing a shade over 21 per game, then I have an ocean-front property to sell you in Piggot.
Arkansas football has come a long way under Pittman. He deserves the benefit of the doubt from Hog fans.
Arkansas football fans can argue that coaches on both sides of the ball should have better prepared the backups on their respective units to step in and play major roles in an SEC game. It’s a fair argument to make, but depth would still be an issue even if they were. This team is missing players in critical spots, and it shows.
Yesterday was nothing more than a massive experiment in confirmation bias. Anyone you see calling for Kendal Briles or Barry Odom to be fired already thought that. I promise you. Yesterday just allowed them to add a massive log to their agenda fire, and they used that opportunity to take a public victory lap.
Losing three games in a row stings, but it’s also not the clanging bells of a death march for Arkansas football’s 2022 season. You don’t even have to go that far back in time to find a historical example to support this.
Flip the calendar back one (1) year. Uno. Un. Einer.
Arkansas football started 4-0 and then lost three in a row in October before winning five of their final six games. There is an immediately recent precedent that all hope is not lost.
But what if it doesn’t go that way this season? What if they split the rest of the games and finish 6-6? What if it’s worse than that?
To that, I’d say that growth is not always linear. There seems to be this belief among Arkansas football fans that once things start going right, there cannot be a single step backward ever again. That’s not how the world works, especially in a brutal conference like the SEC.
So, please, come back inside. And if you still think you’re in the midst of a disaster, I’ll gladly put on some John L. Smith, Bret Bielema, and Chad Morris highlights (lowlights?) for you. That should help your perspective.
And if it doesn’t, I guess basketball season is just right around the corner.