Don’t pretend Alabama is some lesser team, Sam Pittman warns

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Much has been made, including on Razorbacks Wire, about how the SEC is a bit down from its usual status as clear king of college football. A bit of that has to do with Alabama, which has been so grand in recent seasons, the Crimson Tide’s lack of outright dominance has been surprising, if not jarring.

Nick Saban’s bunch is still No. 2 in the country, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. And even with a midseason loss to Texas A&M, a team Arkansas beat, that shouldn’t give anyone too big a head when going up against Alabama.

“No, no, no. Very, very talented. They have elite skill,” Pittman said. “Big offensive and defensive linemen. They have an elite pass rusher. More than one. I mean, they’re Alabama.”

Barring something unusual – say, perhaps, an Arkansas win on Saturday – the Crimson Tide are still an odds-on favorite to land in the College Football Playoff. Even if Alabama were to make the SEC Championship and lose to Georgia, they would still likely finish in the top four, ensuring their spot.

But the Tide not at No. 1 when the Hogs play them is unusual in and of itself. In the last 11 meetings between the two teams, Alabama has been ranked No. 1 eight times entering the game. The Hogs won the matchup since 2005. Some of the players on the Arkansas roster hadn’t even started school yet.

Any notion that Alabama has fallen off is folly. Pittman and the Razorbacks know they will still have to play an A-game to win in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.

“When you turn on the film, they’re what you expect to see.”