Around the SEC: Arkansas-Texas A&M has WWF feel to it; Florida, Alabama move on

Arkansas football coach Sam Pittman appeared at the 2021 SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., on July 22. Pittman has fast become a league favorite.
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ATHENS — The Arkansas (3-0) vs. Texas A&M (3-0) matchup on Saturday features two old Southwest Conference rivals, but also, a paradox of dynamic head coaches.

The Sam Pittman-Jimbo Fisher matchup is fascinating, a WWF promoter’s dream with obvious White Hat and Black Hat coaches in the 3:30 p.m. CBS slot from Arlington, Texas.

Remember the quote Fisher directed at Nick Saban while speaking to the Houston Touchdown Club?

“We’re going to beat his ass when he’s there … Don’t worry,” Fisher said of Saban.

It’s that kind of confidence Texas A&M signed up for. Some believe Fisher could be on the brink of delivering.

At least, that’s what the Aggies are paying for.

The former Bobby Bowden and Saban assistant has yet to beat Alabama or win the SEC West, but Fisher has already landed a raise up to $9 million a year despite getting served up an NCAA show-cause.

Pittman, meanwhile, as a lifetime assistant coach who had never been a coordinator much less led a program before landing the Arkansas head coaching job at $3 million a year.

“Sam wasn’t Plan B on the list,” a former Arkansas coach said, “He was more like Plan H— He was the only guy they could agree on.”

WATCH: Pittman reflects on time at Georgia, tells story of hiring at Arkansas

Everyone would agree Pittman did the SEC a favor when his Razorbacks humbled Texas two weeks ago by a 40-21 count.

As impressive as Arkansas’ victory was, it surely caught Texas A&M’s attention. The Hogs won’t be sneaking up on anyone this season.

The Arkansas game with the Aggies will kick off at 3:30 p.m. EST on CBS, with Texas A&M looking to win its 10th-straight in the series.

Tennessee at Florida, 7 p.m., ESPN

Speaking of streaks, the Vols will be looking to snap an 8-game losing streak to Florida in The Swamp that dates back to 2003.

The first quarter could tell the story with Tennessee featuring a rapid-paced offensive attack that leads the nation with 3.08 plays per minute.

The Gators are also looking for a fast start after falling behind Alabama by a 21-3 count in the first quarter last Saturday en route to the 31-29 loss.

Florida leads the SEC and ranks second in the nation in rushing (335.7) after leading the nation in passing last season.

The Gators are 20-point favorites. Can anyone say that without moving their lips?

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