It’s amazing how fortunes can change so quickly, and in this uncertain season, they have – not always for the better.

It was just the past couple of weeks, though it seems like an eternity ago now, that Arkansas had gone from the SEC West laughing stock, to a 4-0 start and a No. 8 national ranking under everyone’s darling head coach Sam Pittman.

The bump in the road came at Georgia and started the downward trend the Razorbacks find themselves in currently. Still, despite that lopsided loss, talk turned to a possible Sugar Bowl berth on the line when the Hogs met Ole Miss in that epic 52-51 loss in Oxford.

A failed 2-point conversion on the last play was the difference and it showed the parity in the conference this season and just how close a team can be from a top 10 ranking to struggling to keep your head above .500.

Injuries begin to pile up as the second half of the season plays out, and while that is frowned upon as use for excuse, depth isn’t exactly Arkansas’ strong point. The loss of DB Jalen Catalon was felt Saturday, a 38-23 home loss to Auburn – the Hogs’ 3rd straight defeat following that 4-0 start.

“Yes, it’s Week 7 and you’re going to have injuries every season,” said Arkansas defensive leader Bumper Pool, who added that he was proud of the way Myles Slusher filled in for Catalon – the team leader in pass breakups (4). “Injuries happen, like I said. it just has to be that next man up mentality,” said Pool, who leads the Hogs with 69 total tackles this season.

So, the undefeated record at the quarter pole is now ancient history and the Razorbacks have to find a way to stop a 3-game slide and get back to playing the brand of football that resulted in victories over Texas and Texas A&M.

Pool has the best perspective of the mood in the locker room and he remains confident that they can return to their winning ways. “No one has their heads down,” he said. “Obviously, we are upset, but the closeness of this team is like I have never seen before.”

Arkansas doesn’t exactly have a bye week — that comes in Week 9 — but the Hogs face SWAC cellar-dweller Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-5, 0-4) on Saturday (11 a.m. CT) at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. A prohibitive favorite, the Razorbacks should end their skid and head into the bye week with a little momentum and some much-needed rest before the final push.

Left tackle Myron Cunningham said that staying the course, staying focused and just keep on working is how the Razorbacks can end the season the way they started it.

“We can definitely finish the season strong,” Cunningham said. “The way we started the season, we just have to get back to that mentality and work ethic.”

The Hogs’ final quarter of the season looks negotiable. A home game with Mississippi State, followed by road games at LSU and Alabama precede the finale at home with Missouri.

Both home games are winnable and Arkansas will probably be favored in each. Who knows what the Razorbacks will get from LSU with that program in turmoil, and then of course there’s Alabama.

Assuming the Hogs take care of business this Saturday against UAPB, they’ll need 1 more victory to become bowl eligible for the first time since a 2016 Belk Bowl appearance, which was also the last time the program posted a winning season (7-6).

Earning a bowl game invitation would be a huge accomplishment for Pittman in his 2nd year at the helm and winning 7 or 8 games this season would exceed expectations given the Hogs won 8 games total in the 3 previous seasons before Pittman entered the scene.