A historic college football rivalry returns this Saturday when Texas plays the Razorbacks at 6 p.m. in Fayetteville. Very few rivalries inspire more vitriol in Razorback fans than that with the Texas Longhorns, and even fewer teams have detested one another for as long as the Hogs and the Horns.
When Arkansas and Texas first met on the field in 1894 in Austin, Texas, The Longhorn won 54-0. The pair squared off nearly every year, except for 1904 and 1913, 1914, and 1915, and following the 1915 inception of the Southwest Conference, they met every season until Arkansas left for the Southeastern Conference in 1991.
Arkansas lost its first 13 games against Texas, winning for the first time in 1933. However, the now-intense rivalry did not start to heat up until the late 1950s, when Arkansas and Texas began to trade SWC titles nearly every other year and became two of the premier powerhouses in the country.
The rivalry also boasts two of the most accomplished and inextricably linked coaches in college football history. Frank Broyles coached the Razorbacks to Arkansas’ only national championship, seven SWC championships and a 144-58-5 record in 19 seasons as Arkansas’ head coach, making him the winningest coach in program history.
The field at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium was renamed for Broyles following renovations in 2007, and the Broyles Award for best assistant coach in college football was first bestowed in 1996.
Texas’ Darrell Royal posted a 167-47-5 record in his 20 seasons, and led the Horns to 11 SWC titles, 16 bowl games and three national championships in 1963, 1969 and 1970. The University of Texas’ stadium in Austin was renamed to the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in 1996.
Broyles and Royal met for the seventh time with the country’s consensus No. 2 and No. 1 teams in the country, respectively, during the 1964 regular season. Arkansas’ vaunted No. 1 overall defense held the Horns to 13 points and handed Texas its only loss of the season en route to the Razorbacks’ first and only national championship.
The most iconic meeting between the two coaches, and the most famous game in series history, was the 1969 SWC Championship “Game of the Century” that featured the undefeated consensus No. 1 Longhorns and No. 2 Razorbacks and a come-from-behind victory for Texas. Following the game, Texas was declared the national champion even before its Cotton Bowl victory over Notre Dame.
Broyles and Royal retired in 1976 but remained athletic directors for their respective schools until the 1980s, and were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
The schools continued to play yearly until the early 1990s, when Arkansas’ leadership began considering switching conferences. Arkansas was the only non-Texas team in the SWC, and the increasing dysfunction within management led to disputes with Arkansas and the rest of the conference about travel fees, ticketing reimbursements and attendance.
Arkansas, Texas A&M and Texas were essentially subsidizing the other schools with their much higher attendance rates. Athletic director Frank Broyles and other school officials felt shafted by Texas, and in Aug. 1991, Broyles announced his intention to move to the SEC. The SWC destabilized in 1994 before folding in 1996, prompting Texas to join the Big 12.
Since the realignment, the teams have met five times and Arkansas leads the series 3-2.
Despite no regular matchups since Arkansas left for the SEC, it would be difficult for fans to forget such a storied history. The imminent matchup will be the first sellout for Razorbacks football since the 2017 season.
Arkansas has played Texas 88 times since the football program's inception, and Texas leads the series 56-22. Texas is also favored by seven to win the Sept. 11 matchup, following Arkansas’ 38-17 victory over Rice and the Horns’ win over No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette.