OPINION — Like It Is

It’s no theory: Hogs are worst in the West

FAYETTEVILLE -- Explaining what happened in front of a loud crowd at Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday would be easy if we were discussing the theory of relativity and the name was Albert Einstein.

Only it was football and it just took one quarter for the same Arkansas Razorbacks who beat Florida in Gainesville to become irrelative, shedding the image of spoilermaker and becoming this season's SEC West cellar-dweller.

By virtue of a horrible 7-3 loss to Mississippi State, the Hogs mathematically are dead last in the West and their chances of making a bowl game are slim and none.

Auburn may have played its best game of the season Saturday and the Tigers gave the Hogs their worst loss of the season, 48-10, but there is no controversy on the UA team.

Jacolby Criswell came off the bench to lead the Razorbacks to a fourth quarter touchdown, but everything remains status quo for Arkansas.

To get to postseason play now, the Hogs would have to win out and that would mean getting their first conference win at home this season when they close this season of disappointment with Missouri.

Plus, there would have to be a bowl open and then they would need the best APR (academic performance rating) of all the other 5-7 teams in the country.

It took Auburn less than five minutes to set the tone. It drove 75 yards on the first possession of the game for a touchdown, then forced the Hogs to punt and Keionte Scott went untouched 74 yards with the punt for a touchdown.

The Razorbacks again went three and out and again the Tiger drove for another touchdown.

Dwight McGlothern appeared to breathe some life into the Hogs when he grabbed an interception and return it 42 yards to the Auburn 22. But after netting 1 yard on three plays, Cam Little kicked a 39-yard field goal to make it 21-3. But the visitors added a couple of second-quarter field goals and then put it away in the first half of the third quarter.

After Arkansas opened the second half with yet another three and out, Auburn drove 67 yards for another touchdown and a 34-3 lead.

The Razorbacks put together its best drive of the day, highlighted by a 35-yard pass from KJ Jefferson to Isaiah Sategna only to have Raheim Sanders fumble at the Tigers' 15. Caleb Wooden recovered and return it 74 yards to the 11, where Payton Thorne threw his third touchdown and a 41-3 lead.

The football theory of relativity is simple: Control the line of scrimmage, play hard on every down and take advantage of mistakes,which is exactly what Auburn did from the opening kickoff until the final buzzer.

Of course, there will be talk this week about buying out Sam Pittman's contract, but that isn't happening.

Last week when speaking at the Hawgs Illustrated Sports Club, UA Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek said, "I have all the faith in Sam Pittman as our football coach.'

He said he and Pittman jointly made the decision to fire offensive coordinator Dan Enos after the loss to MSU.

Witnesses say he sounded sincere.

Everyone is well-aware Pittman loves Arkansas and has said he's more worried his players than he is money.

He said from the start this was his final job and that he and his wife Jamie would someday retire to the home they remodeled on Lake Hamilton.

He likes it so much he apparently has bought the house next door and it is being remodeled.

Speaking of remodeling, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year at Auburn, which got bowl-eligible and gave Arkansas its final SEC West loss. Next season there will no divisions ... except on the field.