When it began, there was no "hog call." No cheerleaders. No run through the band's "A" formation. Just a handful of players, a few fans, and faint cries of 'boom-a-lacka, boom-a-lacka." Over the next century and beyond, the University of Arkansas football team would become a statewide, year-round obsession. From the Ozarks to the Delta, Arkansas became "Razorback Nation." The history of that nation is chronicled in Arkansas Football: Yesterday & Today.
Here are some of the fascinating stories included in Arkansas Football: Yesterday & Today:The original Arkansas team wasn't the Razorbacks—it was called the Cardinals. Its uniforms were heliotrope—a shade of purple. The coach was a Latin professor, and the first opponent was a high school team, which the Cardinals defeated 42-0 and then beat again two weeks later. The passing game came to Fayetteville in the 1930s with coach Fred Thomsen, who didn't believe in three yards and a cloud of dust. His "Passing Porkers" won Arkansas' first Southwest Conference championship in 1936 and beat arch-rival Texas four years in a row, starting in 1935. The postwar era brought the Razorbacks a "name" coach in former Tennessee head man John Barnhill, who laid the foundation for greatness—and a 0-0 Cotton Bowl tie against LSU, after which the Hogs got the trophy when Barnhill pointed out they had more tackles. The Marching Razorbacks band, the great Pat Summerall (one of six 1951 Hogs who went on to play in pro ball), the 1964 undefeated national champs, star QB Joe Ferguson, famed coach and athletic director Frank Broyles, the birth of the Bobby Petrino era in 2007.
This comprehensive book looks at the bitter defeats and exultant victories of one of college football's most storied programs. You can find it all in Arkansas Football: Yesterday & Today.
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