Andy Hodges

Hogs land Texas Bowl against familiar foe while CFP gets it right

In all the complaining about the College Football Playoff (they got it right), don’t tell Sam Pittman the Hogs don’t belong in a bowl game.

In all the whining and moaning about how the College Football Playoff shouldn’t have let this team or that one in, don’t tell Sam Pittman the Hogs don’t belong in a bowl.

“If nothing else because of our schedule we’ve earned a bowl situation,” Pittman said after the official announcement of Arkansas going to the Texas Bowl to play TCU.

And, in case you’re wondering, the College Football Playoff folks got the four best teams in the playoff. It’s not about being fair or a minimum number of games played.

The Group of 5 schools are never going to be in a playoff and, in reality, are lucky to get into a New Year’s Six bowl game. Sorry, that’s a fact of life.

Ohio State is better than Texas A&M, who was up and down like kids that discovered an escalator. Jimbo Fisher was just trying to make a case for recruits and his fans.

The committee is not supposed to look at just numbers, but put the four best teams into the playoff at the end of the year and that’s exactly what they did.

Not that it matters. It will probably be Alabama and Clemson IV (one of those two teams has played in every championship game except the first one).

As for the Razorbacks, the game may mess up some partying, kicking off at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, but it is a prime time game and a lot of folks will be watching.

“There might be a lot of people where the second half might be blurry to them,” Pittman said. “It’s the last game (of the 2020 calendar year), you’ll have a large audience … it’s gonna be kinda neat.”

Arkansas played a schedule that saw nearly every opponent on a 10-game schedule ranked at some point during the season. When it was announced during the summer, athletics director Hunter Yurachek called it the most difficult schedule in the history of college football.

Combine that with a weekly schedule of holding your breath waiting on covid-19 test results, an even bigger accomplishment was getting all 10 games played.

“I’m really proud of that,” Pittman said. “The only problem was we kinda limped into the end of the year. We had a few close games we couldn’t close out that early in the year we might have, but I don’t know.”

He’s right about limping into the last part of the schedule. Between players quitting for whatever reason and injuries, this time was ragged by the LSU game.

It showed on the field.

Now it’s on to face a TCU team that is looking forward to getting in additional practices with the bowl game. Both Pittman and Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson sounded Sunday evening like that was the main reason they wanted the game.

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