Whitley: Let's hear it for Sexy Sam and his Hogs

David Whitley
The Gainesville Sun
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If you want to strike a blow for the average schmo, pull for Arkansas this weekend. The Razorbacks are led by the spectacularly un-sexy Sam Pittman.

When he took the job in 2019, review after review termed it “not a sexy hire.” Much of it was the fact Pittman was merely Georgia’s offensive line coach, he was pushing 60 and had never even been an offensive coordinator.

But part of it was the fact Pittman is built like a bale of hay. Meanwhile, Ole Miss made that year’s “sexy hire” in dashing Lane Kiffin.

Arkansas coach Sam Pittman

Lucious Lane has the Rebels humming, which isn’t really a surprise. The shock is in Fayetteville, where Pittman has somehow gotten the Hogs out of the Brett Bielema/Chad Morris slop.

They are 3-0, ranked 16th and good old Sam is not only a leading candidate for coach of the year, he might be named the sexiest man of the year.

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Hey, why not?

The British paper “The Guardian” named Dr. Anthony Fauci the sexiest man alive. Frankly, I don’t want to see either Fauci or Pittman as a Chippendales dancer.

Even in these inclusive days, beauty is still largely in the eye of the beholder. But if the Hogs keep rolling, everyone will see how attractive a regular guy can be.

Speaking of hot, my picks were smoking last week — until the ACC kicked in. I would have been 9-1, but I held out hope for ancient dynasties and picked Miami and FSU to win. Silly me.

The 7-3 mark makes me 19-11 overall. I can’t promise these picks will be any better. I can promise I won’t pick the Hurricanes or Seminoles.

Tennessee at Florida: Speaking of sexy, thousands of UF fans were ready to throw themselves at the Gators after last week’s moral victory over Alabama. Expect a love hangover and some confusion with Tennessee’s hurry-up attack. That should subside in plenty of time for UF to make it 16 wins in the last 17 games in this once-great rivalry. Florida 33-16.

Kentucky at South Carolina: Speaking of letdowns against Tennessee, the Wildcats almost lost to UT-Chattanooga last week. That should remind them they’re not quite Alabama just yet. They are a lot further along than the Gamecocks, who get QB Luke Doty back from a foot injury this week. That might keep it interesting for a while. Kentucky 27-17.

Louisville at FSU: Will the last fan leaving Doak Campbell Stadium midway through the third quarter please turn out the lights? Louisville 31-16.

Central Connecticut State College at Miami: Trivia note — former UF interim coach Steve Addazio played at CCSC. Otherwise, sheesh. I should have checked the schedule before vowing not to pick the Hurricanes. Central Connecticut State College? Bishop Sycamore High already booked?

I realize Miami has given up tackling for Lent (and all other days on the 2021 calendar), but CCSC’s only hope is that Addazio somehow becomes Miami’s coach in the next 24 hours. Miami 62-2.

Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin: Give these programs credit for scheduling each other instead of, say, Central Connecticut State College. The average cost of a ticket on StubHub is $400. For that, fans at Chicago’s Soldier Field will see Irish transfer QB Jack Coan come back to haunt his old team. Notre Dame 18-13.

Georgia at Vanderbilt: Tickets for this game are not going for $400. Georgia 53-7.

LSU at Mississippi State: In a coaching matchup between Ed Orgeron and Mike Leach, your best bet is to leave the casino and invest your money in Bitcoin or Gannett stock. It’s hard to have faith in either team, but after getting jobbed by the refs in last week’s Memphis game, karma owes the Bulldogs. Mississippi State 34-31.

Missouri at Boston College: The Eagles have beaten Colgate, UMass and Temple. That’s a can’t-miss recipe for going 3-0 and looking like a darkhorse contender for the Cheez-It Bowl. The Tigers and quarterback Connor Bazelak will bring a dose of reality to BC. Missouri 35-27.

Bonus pick — Ryder Cup: Our lads have the home course advantage (the USA is undefeated at Whistling Straits) and have more 5-star recruits, but the Euros have the Ryder Cup chemistry. Europe 14½ USA 13½.

Southern Miss at Alabama: It wouldn’t matter if Ian Poulter started at quarterback for the Crimson Tide. Alabama 56½-8½.

Upset SpecialTexas A&M vs. Arkansas: The Aggies have allowed 17 points in three games, but have an unproven QB in Zach Calzada. As for motivation, if the Razorbacks beat Texas and Texas A&M in a two-week span, Sam Pittman will replace Sam Walton as the sexiest man in Arkansas history. Wooo Pig Sooie! Arkansas 23-21.

— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at dwhitley@gannett.com. And follow him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley

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