20 interesting facts about Arkansas football
Arkansas football stretches back into the 1890s, with plenty of highs and lows between then and now. How well do you know the Razorbacks? Here are 20 facts pulled from the annals of UA football.
.594 winning percentage: The Razorbacks have a 684-468-40 all-time record, good for a .594 winning percentage, according to the university’s record keeping.
40 bowls: Arkansas has made it to the postseason quite a few times, playing in 40 bowl games. The Razorbacks hold a record of 14-23-3 in the postseason, a winning percentage of .388.
West to East: After playing as an independent for the first 20 or so seasons in program history, Arkansas joined the Southwest Conference as a charter member in 1914. After 78 years in the SWC, the Razorbacks moved to the SEC when the conference expanded in 1992.
Stick around: The longest-tenured coach in school history also happens to be the greatest. Frank Broyles coached the Razorbacks for 19 years, compiling a 144-58-5 record, good for a .708 winning percentage. He has a 69-win lead on the second-winningest coach in school history, Houston Nutt, and also has the most bowl appearances with 10. Broyles ended up spending 50 years in total at Arkansas, as he was a very successful athletics director following his retirement from coaching.
Champions: Arkansas has one national championship in school history, and of course it came under Broyles. Arkansas was the only team in the nation to go undefeated in 1964, knocking off Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl before being voted the national champions.
Six straight: The Razorbacks’ longest bowl streak is six consecutive appearances, which they’ve done three times — under Houston Nutt (1998-2002), Ken Hatfield (1984-89) and Lou Holtz (1977-82). Holtz had the best record during his streak at 3-2-1; Hatfield was 1-5 and Nutt went 2-4.
Call the Hogs: Everyone knows about Razorbacks fans calling the hogs. The unmistakable “Woo! Pig! Sooie!” chant is heard anytime you get near Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, as well as at all other Arkansas sporting events and anywhere Razorbacks fans gather. The origin is a little hazy, but its believed to have started sometime in the 1920s.
Second, twice: The Razorbacks don’t have a Heisman Trophy winner in their history yet, but the school got back-to-back second place finishes from Darren McFadden in 2006-07. During McFadden’s magical run, he won the Doak Walker Award twice (2006-07) and the Maxwell Award (2007). In his three college seasons, McFadden racked up 4,590 yards and 41 touchdowns on the ground.
Tackling machine: Across two seasons, linebacker Ronnie Caveness was all over the field. In 1963-64, he recorded three of the four highest single-game tackle totals in school history. He had games of 29 and 23 tackles in 1963, first and fourth all-time, and another game of 25 tackles, second-most in school history, in the 1964 championship season. Caveness had 154 and 155 tackles in those two seasons, respectively, good for third and fourth all-time at Arkansas.
Home, sweet home: The Razorbacks have called D.W.R. Razorback Stadium home since 1938. It was renamed for local businessman and philanthropist Donald W. Reynolds, who actually graduated from Missouri, in 2001. The playing field was dedicated in honor of Broyles when he retired in 2007, making the official stadium name quite the mouthful: Frank Broyles Field at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Playoff picker: Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long holds quite the important position these days, in addition to his duties at UA. Long is the first chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee, the group that produces the rankings for the CFP. Long was the man to succeed Broyles at Arkansas, taking over in 2008.
Standing room only: The attendance record at D.W.R. Razorback Stadium stands well over capacity. In 2010, 76,808 fans crammed into the 72,000-seat stadium to watch Arkansas take on Alabama. The top-10 showdown against the No. 1 Crimson Tide came down to the wire, with Alabama scoring the game’s final 17 points to snatch the victory away from Arkansas.
Enshrined: Arkansas has two alumni in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: receiver Lance Alworth (1959-61), inducted in 1978, and defensive lineman Dan Hampton (1975-78), who went into Canton in 2002.
He’s No. 2: The highest a Razorbacks football player has been taken in the NFL Draft is No. 2 overall, when Lamar McHan was drafted that high by the Chicago Cardinals in 1954. He ended up playing 11 seasons in the NFL for four teams.
What’s in a name: The Razorbacks weren’t always known by their hog mascot. Prior to 1909, the team was actually known as the Cardinals. After a win against LSU that year, coach Hugo Bezdek said his players played like “a bunch of Razorback hogs,” and the nickname stuck. A year after Bezdek’s compliment, the student body voted to keep the name.
Tusk: Well after the nickname change came the introduction of a live mascot. The first Tusk, a Russian boar, was introduced in the 1960s. The school’s current live mascot is Tusk IV, and the boar attends all Razorbacks home games.
War Memorial: Not all Arkansas home games are played at D.W.R. Razorback Stadium. Each year, the Hogs play at least two games in Little Rock at War Memorial Stadium. The school played its first game there in 1948 and holds a 167-68-4 (.728 winning percentage) at the stadium.
Hands on: While Broyles did many great things for the university, his influence wasn’t always appreciated. The coach with the highest winning percentage in school history, Hatfield, reportedly left the university after six seasons because he thought Broyles was too meddlesome with the program. Broyles also dismissed legendary coach Lou Holtz from the program, either because he was losing the fan base or because he publicly supported a controversial political candidate.
22 first rounders: Since the inception of the NFL, Arkansas has produced 22 first round draft picks. The first was halfback Jack Robbins in 1938, the most recent the tailback duo of McFadden and Felix Jones in 2008. Arkansas has had a player picked in the draft every year since 1996.
Out of retirement: Arkansas has retired just two football jersey numbers: 12 and 77. No. 77 was put aside after Brian Bullsworth’s excellent career, in which he went from walk-on to All-SEC at offensive guard. The other was for Clyde Scott, an Olympian hurdler who left school as the all-time leading rusher. While recruiting Steve Little, Broyles asked Scott if he could bring the number out of retirement for the quarterback, who went on to be an All-American kicker and punter and was taken in the first round of the NFL Draft as a kicker.