Texas animosity skipped a generation of Razorback fans
Publication: Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Maybe there is no explanation.
Maybe he had to live it.
Arkansas Razorback fans wanted to beat Texas more than any other team in the country.
For the Hog appellants, it was a rivalry without equal. What made it even more noticeable was that the Razorbacks were in third place at best in the pecking order or disdain of UT.
The T-sippers had a natural in-state rivalry with Texas A&M, and they had the annual Red River Shootout with Oklahoma.
For the Razorback loyalists, beating the most dominant team in the former Southwestern Conference meant bragging about.
Because they haven’t played in the same conference in 30 years, many young Razorback fans see their Hogs are 3-2 against Texas since Arkansas left the SWC for the SEC.
Many weren’t born in 1969 for The Big Shootout between No.1 in Texas and No.2 in Arkansas, which was National Game of the Week and ranks in the Top 10 games of all time.
Texas won 15-14.
Yours truly volunteered for the Air Force the Monday following this game. The Foreign Legion was full.
It is a loss that has taken too many years to recover. Texas won the national championship and Arkansas lost to Ole Miss at the Sugar Bowl.
The harsh reality is that the 1964 game should have been the most important, but it didn’t get much fanfare and wasn’t moved to the last weekend of the season in anticipation of a nationwide TV audience.
In 1964, it was the Razorbacks who went to Austin and with the help of an 81-yard punt return by Ken Hatfield won 14-13.
It was Arkansas that went undefeated that year and beat Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl.
At the time, the Associated Press named their national champion before bowl games and it was Alabama, which lost to Texas in the Orange Bowl.
The Football Writers Association of American has awarded Arkansas its Grantland Rice Trophy as the National Champion, and it is just as recognized by the NCAA as the AP title.
What made this season so enjoyable was the victory in Austin.
In the first 72 meetings, mostly as enemies of the conference, Texas were 53-19 against Arkansas.
So Razorback fans didn’t care if the coaches were best friends. All they wanted for Christmas was a win over UT.
Texas was to the SWC what Alabama is to the SEC. The Longhorns were everyone’s main target.
The University of Texas was bigger and wealthier than anyone else in the SWC and it showed.
The program was as arrogant as the state of Ohio, but with a well-practiced “aw shucks” smile.
The Razorbacks were looked down upon by most SWCs, but it seemed Texas was the worst.
When ESPN gave Texas their own network, the attitude seemed to be that the Longhorns deserved it and no one else did.
Rumor had it that Texas was supposed to go SEC when Arkansas did. Former Arkansas head coach and athletic director Frank Broyles and former Texas head coach and associate athletic director Darrell Royal reportedly solved the problem by playing golf for a week.
Politics stepped in and Texas stayed put. The SEC added South Carolina and Texas paved the way for some SWCs to merge with the Big 8.
Texas ruled the roost, and he and Oklahoma got a bigger share of the profits.
In the 30-year absence, the hatred of Texas by Razorback fans has faded into severe dislike, and they would probably rather beat Alabama if given the choice.
Arkansas and Texas have been conference opponents for 30 years. That’s a lot of water under the bridges, but when they become SEC brothers over the next four years, a few generations of Razorback fans will begin to understand why the Hogs’ biggest and sweetest victories have been against. Texas.