Kirk Herbstreit discusses how Sam Pittman has already impacted Arkansas's culture
Kirk Herbstreit, like many around the country, was impressed by Arkansas’s 40-21 win over Texas on Saturday night in Fayetteville.
Coach Sam Pittman and his staff are getting a lot of deserved praise this week in the aftermath of the big win.
Herbstreit, the popular ESPN analyst, said he almost called the Hogs’ win on GameDay, but couldn’t quite pull the trigger. He said on this week’s ESPN CFB podcast that he wishes he would have picked Arkansas (via 247Sports):
“We thought, ‘Hey, Sark beat Louisiana, who is a top-25 team. They might be better than we thought.’ They go to Arkansas — old-school Southwest Conference rivalry — they might battle for a half, but Texas is too athletic,” Herbstreit said this week on ESPN’s college football podcast. “They’ll pull away. I wanted to pull the trigger on GameDay. You had all those picks. Texas, Texas, Texas. I’m last. I don’t like the feel of this. I don’t have the guts to say it, and I don’t. I’m going Texas. Arkansas just manhandled them at the line of scrimmage.”
Herbstreit went on to say that the culture is already changing for the better early in Year 2 for Pittman:
“It’s not just about having better players and recruiting. You always hear coaches talk about culture and the importance of culture,” Herbstreit said. “Sam Pittman came in there and right away affected the culture, not only of the players in the locker room, but of the fan base. That’s one of those fan bases that they don’t need a lot to buy in. In Arkansas, there’s the Razorbacks, and they are all in. You saw the crowd there the other night. You saw the reaction in the postgame when they’re running out onto the field.
“Last year, there was enough signs there, in the middle of a global pandemic, for that fan base to go, ‘We’re getting it back.’ I think the hire of Kendal Briles was a great hire. He brings in that offense that is very tough and very difficult to prepare for. If they have a quarterback that can run it, it’s a lot to deal with. I think Barry Odom is one of the best defensive coordinators, not just in the conference, but in the country. They showed up in a bad mood and had them ready to go.”
How many more big wins will Pittman and the Hogs have this year? Stay tuned!