Skip to main content
Publish date:

What Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman Said About Facing No. 2 Alabama

Former Georgia assistant calls Nick Saban the "best coach in the nation and has been for a long time."

When it returns to Tuscaloosa this weekend to face Alabama, yes, Arkansas will be back in the polls. 

Not in basketball, although the Razorbacks are ranked in that sport as well, but football. At 7-3 overall, and 3-3 in SEC, is No. 22 in the AP Top 25, and No. 21 in the coaches' poll. 

The last time Arkansas was ranked this late in the season came during the 2011 campaign when the Hogs finished the year at No. 5 in each poll. It's also the first time the Razorbacks were ranked in both basketball and football at the same time in nearly 23 years. 

"I think it's pretty good for Arkansas," football head coach Sam Pittman said during his Monday press conference. 

Coming off a win in Death Valley, the Razorbacks are riding a three-game winning streak into Bryant-Denny Stadium (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., CBS). 

Pittman certainly likes the direction the program is heading. 

Read More

"It's not necessarily about the number of wins over what the expectations, to me it's about how you're playing," he said. "Is the team playing hard? Do you have a chance to win. Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your direction and you played a good football game."

The former Georgia assistant called Nick Saban "the best coach in the nation and has been for a long time."

He also said you have to "get into a fist fight" to beat Alabama in regards to how physical the Crimson Tide plays. 

Among his other comments: 

• Pittman said the 16-13 win over LSU was only ugly from the offensive standpoint. He asked: Would you rather be in the losing locker room after a pretty offensive game at Ole Miss, or a winning locker room after an ugly offensive game at LSU? 

• The key to beating a team like Alabama is you first have to believe you can do it. He brought up the 2014 Arkansas-Alabama game when he was the Razorbacks' offensive line coach and Arkansas had lost to the Crimson Tide the year before 52-0. This time the score was 14-13. Pittman said the biggest difference was the 2014 team believed it would win (Note: It was also playing at home). 

• Technically, Arkansas is still mathematically eligible to play in the SEC Championship Game, but Alabama can clinch the West Division with a victory. "To still be alive in Week 11, it's hard to do and I'm happy we have that opportunity."