Historically, few sports commentators have been as aggressively anti-Arkansas as Tennessee native Clay Travis.
It was Travis who, for instance, just three years ago made the case that the Arkansas football program should be kicked out of the SEC and Arkansas State inserted in its place.
After the Razorbacks were beaten 44-17 by North Texas at home in 2018, in the first year of Chad Morris’ laughably bad reign, Travis argued that the Arkansas football program should be relegated to the Sun Belt Conference for losing so badly to a mid-major team.
Then, Travis argued, Arkansas should have to win enough to earn its way back from relegation into the SEC. “If you can’t do it, then you’re never going to get to stay in the SEC again,” Travis said.
“I think that’s totally fair when you have a beating that bad.”
In the last few months, however, Clay Travis has been doing something of a 180 on Razorback athletics.
First, he paid Arkansas baseball star Kevin Kopps a great tribute after Kopps last game as a Razorback in an agonizing defeat to North Carolina State.
Arkansas Football: No. 1 in the Nation
Then, today, Travis and his sports outlet Outkick.com gave Arkansas (now ranked No. 8 by the Associated Press) by far its more impressive ranking among media outlets in the aftermath of the Hogs’ takedown of formerly No. 7 Texas A&M.
Indeed, Travis might have upgraded a few Razorback fan from hating his guts to being able to tolerate him by putting Arkansas at No. 1.
“Many of you are about to fall to your fainting couches and clutch your pearls when you see that I now have Arkansas as the top team in the country,” he wrote. “But when you get the vapors and are able to sit back up again tell me who has a better resume than the Razorbacks through four weeks of the season?”
“Arkansas smoked an otherwise undefeated Texas team and they beat an otherwise undefeated Texas A&M team by double digits in a neutral venue.”
Here’s his Top 10:
4. Penn State
8. Ole Miss
10. Notre Dame
He adds an important caveat, too: “Our goal with the Outkick top ten isn’t to tell you who we think is the best team… it’s to look at the games that have actually been played and tell you who has the best resume.”
Obviously, that’s a helluva of a lot of Kool-Aid that Travis is chugging down with that ranking.
So much so that some of the Hogs fans in the Twitter comments below confess they don’t think Arkansas would yet be ranked this highly.
Georgia and Alabama haven’t yet played as good of a schedule as Arkansas, although that will change in the next couple of weeks. While No. 1 does feel aggressively high for Arkansas so far, we won’t have to wonder about the pecking order after Saturday’s game with No. 2 Georgia.
Arkansas Football Rankings After Week 4
National: No. 7
SEC: No. 3 (behind only Alabama and Georgia)
“The Razorbacks are 4-0 with three wins over Texas teams — Rice, No. 15 Texas and No. 7 Texas A&M — and Sam Pittman might get a statue built by the end of the season if he keeps this up.”
“The Hogs started pushing the Aggies around from the start, forcing A&M to bail out of its run-game comfort zone and play catch-up.”
“Treylon Burks caught six of Arkansas’ nine completed passes for 167 yards and a touchdown, they ran for 197 yards against the Aggies’ stout defensive front and the Hogs’ three-man defensive front caused problems all day. Just like against Texas, this wasn’t a fluke. These Razorbacks are a tough bunch.”
National: No. 11
SEC: No. 4 (behind Alabama, Georgia and Florida)
Arkansas Football Bowl Projection
Anybody ready for a rematch with the Longhorns?
“Arkansas’ win over Texas A&M has set up the possibility that those two, along with Florida, could all finish 10-2 and battle for a spot in the New Year’s Six,” CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm wrote. “The Gators already lost to Alabama, and both the Razorbacks and Aggies are projected to drop their games to the Crimson Tide.”
“However, Arkansas would get the nod over Florida by virtue of its victories over Texas in nonconference play and Texas A&M.”
“Florida’s nonconference schedule is dismal, but it has a shot for a big win against Georgia around Halloween time. FAU may be the best of UF’s nonconference foes, and that list includes Florida State.”
The Reason Behind Arkansas Football Success
Here’s a great tribute from former Razorback star Sebastian Tretola about his former offensive line coach, Sam Pittman:
Sebastian Tretola shares the love on Facebook:
“This picture is from my first day in Fayetteville, 7 years ago. A California kid who had never been to, or even heard of any part of the south. Why? Because of that man behind me.”
“A kid who went from getting kicked out of a D1 school, sent to a junior college in the middle of Iowa, to playing in the SEC. Why? Because of that man behind me.”
“A kid who would go on to be a 1st team All Leaguer, 2nd team All American, and recipient of the award for the best offensive lineman in the SEC. Why? Because of that man behind me.”
“A kid that would eventually be drafted and go on to live out his childhood dream of playing in the NFL. Why? Because of that man behind me.”
“Coach Pittman is the reason I got to experience the magic that runs through this state and I couldn’t even begin to thank him enough for it. Just under 2 years ago I posted and said hiring coach was the best decision this program has made in a long time and that I’d stand on that statement.”
“Regardless of what happens the rest of this season, this was a turning point and a statement game for this team. A culture shifting win that will be stamped in Razorback football timelines forever. Remember that. Trust me, I have A LOT more to say because I know what this man does to a locker room but I think I’ll save that for our next big win.
“There’s something very very special brewing in Fayetteville and boy I can’t wait to watch. Man Mountain Dean. Mr. Freaky Deaky. I Love ya coach and WOO DAMN PIG!!!”
See that man in action the most recent Arkansas football coach’s show here: