The Arkansas Razorbacks football program represents the University of Arkansas in the sport of American football. The Razorbacks play in the NCAA as part of the Football Bowl Subdivison and compete in the Southeastern Conference.
The program has honors for winning one national championship awarded by the Football Writers Associaion of America and Helms Athletic Foundation in 1964. It’s also won a national championship awarded by the Foundation for the Analysis of Competitions and Tournaments (FACT) in 1977.
Beyond these feats, the program has earned several conference championships, fielded 45 All-Americans, and has a strong all time record.
The first University of Arkansas football team was formed in 1894. Back then, it was coached by John Futrall who was also a Latin professor at the university. The team played three games, two against Fort Smith High School and one against Texas.
Before the 1909 season, the teams were called the Arkansas Cardinals which suited the university, since a bird was also the school’s mascot.
But the name and mascot changed following the 1909 season when coach Hugo Bezdek finished the season with an undefeated 7-0 record. Since then, the Cardinals became The Razorbacks, which was chosen after a reporter said the team played “like a wild band of Razorback hogs”. The name stuck and led to a student body vote to change the school mascot.
Following this vote, The Wooo Pig Sooie or “Calling the Hogs” became a school tradition and the official cheer for the university in the 1920s. Farmers would rush out to meet the bus returning from away games and would greet the team with the cheer.
The Razorbacks quickly became a powerhouse team, with strong victories over favorites such as Oklahoma, LSU, and Washington of St. Louis in the early 1900s. This led to the Razorbacks being considered the unofficial champions of the South and Southwest.
The Razorbacks today
Recently, as of December 8, 2019, Georgia’s offensive line and associate head coach Sam Pittman was announced as the new RAzorbacks head coach. This led to the Razorbacks’ first SEC win since they beat Ole Miss in 2017. The Razorbacks finished the season with a 3-7 record in the SEC. Arkansas earned the chance to play in the Mercan Texas Bowlagainst Texas Christian University. Unfortunately, the game was canceled due to Covid-19 issues.
It doesn’t take long for college rivalries to form, especially when you’re a program with a storied history like the Razorbacks. These games, especially when played at home, are easily the most intense matches of football in the NCAA and fans come out in droves to catch the bouts.
But these are the most exciting rivalries for Arkansas.
Vs. Ole Miss
The Razorbacks first played against the Ole Miss Rebels in 1908. Since then, the two universities competed many times sporadically over the years. There were even periods of time (1940-1947, 1952-1962 and 1981-Present) when the teams had annual competitions against one another. The remarkable thing about these games is how often things get tied up in overtime.
For example, in 2001, the teams had an NCAA record seven-overtime game in Oxford, Mississippi. The amount of overtimes has since been tied, but has never been beaten.
To date, Arkansas had played Ole Miss more total times than any other SEC opponent until Texas A&M joined the conference in 2012.
Since they joined the Southeastern Conference in 1992, the Razorbacks developed a fast rivalry with the LSU Tigers. The teams play annually the day after Thanksgiving and was televised every year on CBS until 2014, when LSU played Texas A&M and Arkansas faced Missouri that week.
The winner of the annual game takes home the “Golden Boot” which is an impressive 24-karat gold trophy in the shape of the two states. The “Golden Boot” has been contested since the trophies creation in 1996.
But the rivalry was never more heated than in 2002, when the game winner would represent the Western Devision in the SEC Championship Game. The game, which was known as “Miracle on Markham”, was ultimately won by Arkansas on a last second touchdown pass.
Arkansas and Missour first met in 1906 in Columbia, Missouri. A rivalry quickly formed leading to the two teams squaring off every year since 2014. The game is known as the “Battle Line Rivalry”. Both teams play, not just for the honor of their universities, but also for an annual trophy that was unveiled on November 23, 2015 for the series.
About the Stadium
Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium is the home stadium for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks football team. The program has called the stadium home since the arena’s opening in 1938. Originally the stadium was known as Razorback Stadium before being renamed in honor of Donald W. Reynolds, an American businessman and philanthropist. The playing field is named the Frank Broyles Field in honor of former Arkansas head football coach and athletic director Frank Broyles.
The arena has a current capacity for 76,212 fans. It broke that capacity on September 25, 2010 when the Razorbacks faced off against Alabama in front of 76,808 spectators.
Before 1938, the Razorbacks played in a 300-seat stadium built in 1901 on land on top of “The Hill”. The site of the original stadium is now occupied by Mullins Library and the Fine Arts Center in the “center” of campus. The new stadium was built at a cost of 492,000 and was funded by the Works Progress Administration with the University of Arkansas only paying 22% of the contract.
Today, the stadium stands as one of the biggest in collegiate football.
With over 1,200 games played, you can bet that the Razorbacks have a diverse and rich football heritage. Not only have they had a strong record and history of bowl game appearances, but they have several titles under their belts and are looking to add more with every passing season.
Here’s a brief rundown of the university achievements to date.
- All-time record 720–516–40 (.580)
- Bowl record 15–24–3 (.393)
- Claimed national titles 1 (1964)
- Unclaimed national titles 1 (1977)
- Conference titles 13
- Division titles 4