It has become kooky season for Arkansas football fans. I hate telling people how to feel, but there are fans that really, really need to get a grip.
After Arkansas’s 13-10 (three points, mind you, which will be important later) loss to #7 LSU, a multitude of Arkansas football fans took to Twitter with some version of the same take: Today’s loss was just as if not more embarrassing than anything during the Chad Morris era.
There is plenty to be frustrated about with yesterday’s loss in what felt like a winnable game. The Tigers were unprepared for the temperature, and the defense easily played their strongest game of the season. But, unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough.
Arkansas football lost a tough game yesterday afternoon, but denying how far this program has come under head coach Sam Pittman is head-in-the-sand nonsense.
Be frustrated, but goodness gracious, it is time for a history lesson. If you think the only measuring stick for Pittman is that he is not Morris, then you don’t get the history of this program.
Arkansas football has been a Southeastern Conference member institution since 1992. That’s 31 seasons, including this one. Of those 31 seasons, the Razorbacks have won at least nine games just seven times.
Percentage-wise, that’s not even one-quarter of our SEC history at nine wins. Pittman led the Hogs to one of those seasons last year.
The baseline for Arkansas football is making a bowl game every year, something still on the table for Pittman and the Razorbacks this season. Of course, you can be disappointed by the win totals, but disappointing and embarrassing are two wildly different emotions.
Speaking of embarrassment, let’s dive into the history of the Morris era a bit since that’s the latest Razorback Twitter buffoonery. Morris was 4-18 (0-14) in his brief stay as the head coach of Arkansas football. That’s a .182 winning percentage.
Morris boasts the worst winning percentage of any non-interim head coach in Arkansas football history.
While Pittman’s .515 winning percentage isn’t world-beating, it is the third-best mark since the Hogs joined the SEC (behind Bobby Petrino and Houston Nutt, in that order). But it wasn’t just that Morris lost a ton of games (literally EVERY SEC game he coached, mind you), it was how he lost those games that mattered.
Remember earlier (genuinely asking because if you believe that Morris and Pittman are equals, I’m not sure you can remember back to what you read 300 words ago) when I told you that the Razorbacks lost to the Tigers by three points yesterday? I highlighted that fact because Morris lost his SEC contests by an average of 22.5 points.
(Fun fact: the 2019 season was so bad that the link to the yearly stats doesn’t work on the Razorback website. Maybe just a tech glitch, or perhaps they’re scrubbing that garbage from memory.)
Over three touchdowns. Arkansas football went two seasons losing every SEC game by an average of more than three touchdowns.
So, sure, yeah, I see what you mean. Yesterday’s one-score loss to a top-ten team to drop to 5-5 on the season is definitely more embarrassing.
Come on, folks!
I’m not here to be a sunshine pumper (a phrase I hate). But, considering the hot start, Arkansas football fans have every right to be disappointed in how the season has gone.
But let’s not go off the deep end. Especially not driving in the left lane with the hammer down after completing our one trip to “Club Dub.”
Have another Ol’ Col’ beer and, I don’t know, maybe a nap.