Arkansas Razorbacks Football History, Legends and Traditions

Discover the excitement and history of Razorbacks Football and the legends that generated great championship seasons and traditions

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College Football's Best Helmet?

Arkansas' Famous Running Hog Helmet was unveiled in 1964 and remains as one of college Football's top helmets.

Razorbacks in Pro Football Hall of Fame

Arkansas Razorbacks Pro Football Hall of Fame
Arkansas has 3 former players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dan Hampton (pictured), Lance Alworth and Jerry Jones

University of Arkansas
Football Facts and History

  • Arkansas football first took the field in 1894 when the university’s team played three games.  Two of those contests were against Fort Smith High and the other game was against the University of Texas.
  • Arkansas football teams were called the Cardinals until 1909.
  • Arkansas was a charter member of the now dissolved Southwest
    Conference.  The Razorbacks joined the conference in 1915.
  • Frank Broyles became the university’s head coach in 1957 and under his
    leadership, gained national prominence.  Broyles led the Hogs through the
    1976 season and through that span, the Razorbacks captured seven SWC
    championships and a 1964 national championship.  Broyles still ranks at the top of the Razorbacks coaching wins list with 144 victories.
  • Lou Holtz followed Broyles and posted a 60-21-2 record from 1977-83.
  • With the SWC fading, Arkansas left that conference for the SEC in 1991.
  • Cardinal red jerseys have been a fixture on Arkansas’ jerseys through the
    years.  The famous hog on the school’s football helmets appeared in its early form in 1964.
  • The Razorbacks biggest rivals are Texas, Ole Miss and LSU.  Although the Hogs don’t play Texas on an annual basis like they did in the SWC days, therivalry still remains strong.
  • Hogs home football games are played at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback
    Stadium in Fayetteville.   The school also plays home games in Little Rock’s 
    War Memorial Stadium.

1964 FWAA National Champions

Arkansas – 1964 National Champions

Arkansas Championship Seasons

National Championship – 1964

Head Coach Frank Broyles guided the Razorbacks to an 11-0 season.  Arkansas shut out their last 5 regular season opponents before defeating No. 6 Nebraska 10-7 in the Cotton Bowl.

Conference Championships 

All of the school’s league titles were gained in the Southwest Conference. The Razorbacks earned 13 titles.

  • 1936, 1946, 1954, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1975, 1979, 1988, 1989

Arkansas Razorback Marching Band This spirit inducing group was first organized in 1874 as the Cadet Corps band and has evolved into one of the top bands in the country. The band hits the field with Red jackets, white pants, red and white hats with white plume

Arkansas Razorback Marching
This spirit inducing group was first
organized in 1874 as the Cadet Corps band and has evolved into one of the top bands in the country. The band hits the field with Red
jackets, white pants, red and white hats with white plume

Frank Broyles who passed away in 2017 is shown admiring the statue of him that was dedicated in 2013 in front of the school's athletic center.

Broyled to Perfection

Ever since his 1958 arrival in Fayetteville, Frank Broyles had things cooking at the University of Arkansas. Through his service as the school’s head football coach and athletic director, Broyles led Razorback athletics to national prominence.

The all-time winningest Arkansas football coach took the Razorback reins after just one year of head coaching experience with Missouri. Broyles had longed for the Arkansas job because he saw great potential for the school to have phenomenal success in a state with only one dominant athletic program.

Broyles crowning moment as the Hog’s head football coach was leading the team to a claim of  the 1964 national championship following a Cotton Bowl victory over Nebraska. Arkansas finished as the nation’s only undefeated team when the bowl season had concluded. However, the policy of selecting a national champ prior to the postseason was in effect for the AP and UPI polls. They both gave Alabama the title nod before the Crimson Tide’s Orange Bowl loss to Texas. Therefore, Arkansas fans embrace the top ranking they received from the Football Writers Association of America and the Helms Athletic Foundation since they recognized the results of the full season.


Retired Razorback Jersey Numbers

Since kicking off their football program in 1894, the University of Arkansas has forged a strong championship football tradition that has included national championships and some of college football’s biggest stars.