Published: Wednesday, September 8, 2021
It may not be explained.
Maybe you should have lived it.
Arkansas Razorback fans wanted to beat Texas more than any other team in the country.
For the people who called Hog, it was an unparalleled rivalry. What made him even more sensitive was that the Razorbacks were third, at best, in the UT hierarchy or contempt.
The T-sippers had a natural rivalry in the state with Texas A&M and had the annual Red Shootout with Oklahoma.
For the Razorback faithful, winning the most dominant team in the former Southwestern conference meant boasting of rights.
Since they haven’t played in the same conference in 30 years, many of Razorback’s younger fans see their Hogs 3-2 against Texas since Arkansas left the SWC for the SEC.
Many were not born in 1969 in The Big Shootout between No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in Arkansas, which was the national game of the week and ranks in the Top 10 of all-time games.
Texas won 15-14.
Yours were actually offered to the Air Force on the Monday after that match. The Foreign Legion was full.
It was a loss that took too many years to overcome. Texas won the national championship and Arkansas lost to Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl.
The stark reality is that the 1964 game should have been the biggest, but it didn’t have fanfare and didn’t move to the last weekend of the season in anticipation of a national television audience.
In 1964 it was the Razorbacks who went to Austin and with the help of an 81-yard return from Ken Hatfield they won 14-13.
It was Arkansas who won undefeated that year and beat Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl.
The Associated Press then named its national champion before bowling and it was Alabama, who lost to Texas in the Orange Bowl.
The Football Writers Association of American awarded Arkansas its Grantland Rice trophy as national champions, and is as recognized by the NCAA as the AP title.
What made it so sweet that season was the win in Austin.
In the first 72 meetings, mostly as enemies of the conference, Texas had a 53-19 record against Arkansas.
So Razorback fans didn’t care if the coaches were best friends. All they wanted for Christmas was to win at UT.
Texas was in the SWC what Alabama is in the SEC. The Longhorns were everyone’s main target.
The University of Texas was bigger and richer than anyone in the SWC and it proved it.
The show was as arrogant as the state of Ohio, but with a well-practiced “aw shucks” smile.
Most SWCs watched the Razorbacks, but it looked like Texas made it worse.
When ESPN gave Texas its own network, the attitude seemed to be that the Longhorns deserved it and no one else did.
It was rumored that Texas was supposed to jump into the SEC when Arkansas did. Former Arkansas coach and athletic director Frank Broyles and former Texas technical and associate athletic director Darrell Royal reportedly solved it while playing golf for a week.
Politics intervened and Texas stayed. The SEC added South Carolina and Texas led the way for some of the SWCs to merge with the Big 8.
Texas ruled the place, and it and Oklahoma made larger shares of the profits.
In the absence of 30 years, hatred of Texas by Razorback fans has faded to a serious aversion, and they probably prefer to beat Alabama if chosen.
It’s been 30 years since Arkansas and Texas were opponents of the conference. There’s a lot of water under the bridge, but when they become SEC brothers for the next four years, a couple of generations of Razorback fans will begin to understand why the Hogs ’biggest, sweetest wins were against Texas.