FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It shouldn't be particularly surprising the usual suspects are the betting favorites to win the SEC football title this year.
For Arkansas fans, the Razorbacks aren't in that group, which consists of Alabama and Georgia. No surprise there.
However, it was a little surprising to see the Hogs at No. 8 in the betting odds to win the title. It means absolutely nothing, of course. It's just an indication of who's putting down money four months before the start of the season on who will win in December.
Seeing Auburn and Kentucky in front of the odds on Arkansas was also surprising. The Tigers are a train wreck on wobbly tracks without a conductor and the Wildcats are, well, a basketball school.
Bettors also seem to think LSU with Brian Kelly at the helm is going to be better than a lot of folks expect and Ole Miss is getting better odds ... and they don't even have an experienced quarterback at the helm.
The Hogs have +5000 odds. That means you can pick up a pretty good chunk of change on a small investment of winning in Atlanta in December.
It probably shouldn't be that surprising for a school that has never won a national football championship (please don't start the cry about 1964, either — the trophy is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama).
Arkansas has never won an SEC football championship, either. They've only played for it three times.
Don't get too hung up on it.
Hogs coach Sam Pittman probably secretly likes the fact nobody is giving him a shot. You get the impression he likes playing the underdog role.
As legendary athletics director John Barnhill told Frank Broyles one time, "Arkansas has only won big in times of austerity, not prosperity." Simply translated, that means they only win big when little is expected.
That's in the entire history of the school playing football, by the way. Even the glory years.
Which is probably what Pittman knows. Publicly he will express confidence they have a chance to be pretty good, but he won't be predicting any titles.
They have a schedule full of trap games.
Especially in non-conference games where there are some teams that have a habit of jumping up and causing big-name schools problems.
Pittman knows it.
Fans will discover it.
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