Arkansas Razorbacks Football History

At the very beginning of Arkansas Razorbacks football history, the Arkansas college football team was known as the "Cardinals." They continued to be the Cardinals until the end of the 1909 season, when coach Hugo Bezdek referred to his team as "a wild band of razorbacks" after earning a 7-0 record. Fans and news writers quickly latched onto the nickname and the "Razorback" team name stuck. However, the Cardinal heritage can be seen to this day in the bright red color of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Arkansas takes its Razorback mascots seriously. There are a collection of them at every football game. The traditional mascot (Big Red) arrives at games to pump up the fighting spirit of the Razorbacks. A female hog (Sue E.) is known for a multitude of costume changes and dancing performances.

A kid-friendly mascot named Pork Chop also makes the rounds. During the 1998 football season, Boss Hog, who measures nine-feet tall, appeared in all of his inflatable greatness. A live Russian boar named Tusk also attends all Razorback home games.

Arkansas Razorbacks Football - Stadium History

The University of Arkansas was part of the Southwest Conference until it joined the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 1992 (along with South Carolina). Today, the University of Arkansas football team plays at Razorback Stadium, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Razorback Stadium was previously named, "University Stadium" (1938) and "Bailey Stadium" (1938-1941). Over the years, the stadium has undergone a series of expansions and upgrades to accommodate the ever-increasing number of Razorback football fans.

2006 Arkansas vs Florida SEC Championship Game

2006 Arkansas vs Florida SEC Championship Game. Thanks to bjsmith at for the picture.

In 2001, Razorback Stadium's seating capacity increased to 72,000. A later addition of top bleachers made the total capacity 76,000. The largest known Smartvision LED screen and a newer scoreboard was also added to the stadium. The all-time highest attendance ever at Razorback Stadium occurred just last year (2006) when a record attendance of 76,728 saw Arkansas beat Tennessee 31-14.

Many memorable games have taken place over the years at Razorback Stadium. The first game took place on September 24th, 1938 - against Oklahoma A & M (Arkansas won 27-7. The first SEC game took place on October 3rd, 1992 with an unfortunate loss to Georgia (27-3). Other significant games in Arkansas history include the first game on Astroturf on September 27th, 1969 (Arkansas 55, Tulsa 0); the November 11th, 1989 first game with lights (Arkansas 19, Baylor 10); and the first game on their newly-laid natural grass surface on September 9th, 1995 (Arkansas 51, South Carolina 21).

1965 Cotton Bowl Arkansas vs. Nebraska

1965 Cotton Bowl Arkansas vs. Nebraska

1978 Orange Bowl Arkansas vs. Oklahoma

1978 Orange Bowl Arkansas vs. Oklahoma

Arkansas Razorbacks Football History - Notable Coaches and Players

When you talk about the all-time greatest coach in Arkansas Razorback football history, you have to talk first about Frank Broyles. Broyles coached Arkansas throughout the 1960s. He brought home the 1964 National Championship. He later became Arkansas' Athletic Director. And, even later, a broadcaster for ABC Sports. Broyles also earned a place in the College Football Hall of Fame. Read this Frank Broyles Interview.

Former Arkansas football players with notable achievements include Steve Little, who earned a reputation as one of the best college kicker/punter combination players. He is also known for kicking an NCAA record-breaking field goal in 1977 that measured 67 yards. Little would later play professional football for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Arkansas' Red Hickey was an all-SEC player in both football and basketball. After his career with the Razorbacks, he went on to play in the NFL, and eventually became the head coach credited with first establishing the shotgun formation.

Like father, like son, fits Billy Ray Smith, Jr., who became a first round draft selection in the 1983 NFL draft after an outstanding career as a linebacker for the Razorbacks. After his retirement from the game of football, Smith enjoyed an Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame induction in 1995, as well as College Football Hall of Fame honors in 2000.

College Football 1978 SI Cover

College Football 1978 SI Cover

Outland Trophy Winners

The Outland Trophy is the premier college football award for lineman. Over the years, Arkansas has seen two of their players earn the Outland Trophy - Bill "Bud" Brooks (defensive tackle/offensive guard; 1954) and Loyd Phillips (defensive tackle; 1966).

Retired Numbers

One of the ultimate signs of respect in college football is having your jersey number retired. There have been three Razorback players whose numbers will never grace the back of another player. The #12 is significant for two reasons, as both Steve Little (1974-77) and Clyde Scott (1946-49) shared it. Brandon Burlsworth (1994-98), who wore the #77 jersey, never got a chance to enjoy the honor of having his number retired, as he died in a car crash two weeks after learning he had been drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.

Arkansas Razorbacks Football History - Did you Know?

The top floor of the Walker Family Training Center on the University of Arkansas campus showcases an 18,000 square foot weight room that includes a nutritional area; juice bar; ice cream and protein machine; and thirteen 42-inch flat screen televisions that allow players to view and perfect their skill and technique.

Razorbacks fans, here are some great links to get Merchandise and Apparel, Tickets, and Baseball Caps.

Other Arkansas Razorbacks Football Pages:


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