FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas is 3-5 on the season with two games remaining, but first-year head coach Sam Pittman is convinced the team will go to a bowl game.
He commented on three games remaining in the season on Monday and was then asked if that meant he was assuming a bowl game since only Missouri and Alabama remain on the schedule?
“Oh yeah,” Pittman said. “I mean, we won three SEC games. I think anytime you win three SEC games and you schedule right in the preseason, that equals anywhere from six-to-seven. Absolutely, and I think we will. I think we deserve it.”
Arkansas has beaten Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee. They lost to Georgia and Florida two teams that were added to the schedule by the league when it went to an SEC-only schedule. They also fell to Auburn 30-28 and LSU 27-24.
Both the Auburn and LSU games were marked by odd officiating decisions that were controversial. In addition, Arkansas was playing extremely short-handed on the defensive line against LSU.
The Razorbacks haven’t been to a bowl game since participating in the 2016 Belk Bowl where they lost to Virginia Tech 35-24. The last time the Hogs won a bowl game was the 2016 Autozone Liberty Bowl when they defeated Kansas State 45-23. That concluded the 2015 season when Arkansas finished 8-5.
Arkansas has to hope three or four wins is enough to get into a bowl and also then there be one to go to. So far nine bowls have canceled.
The Sun Bowl is the ninth bowl game canceled because of COVID-19; the Bahamas, Celebration, Fenway, Hawaii, Holiday, Motor City, Pinstripe and Redbox bowls are the others.
None of those are associated with the SEC. The College Football Playoff (CFP) semifinal is where the champion will go. Next, the New Year’s Six get the SEC champion if not selected for the playoff. This includes the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Cotton, Fiesta and Orange Bowl.
The VRBO Citrus Bowl gets its pick of SEC teams once the CFP shakes out.
The SEC will assign teams to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, Outback Bowl and TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.
A couple of second-tier bowls for the SEC are the Birmingham Bowl and the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.