Halloween Hogs: Arkansas’ Top 10 Spookiest Games

When Arkansas and Texas A&M suited up on Halloween for the first time in a half-century, it reminded us here at Enter the Razorback that the Hogs have quite an impressive history of gridiron battles on All Hallow’s Eve.

Read on for top 10…if you dare.

10. Unlikely tradition | Oct. 31, 1903 | Texas A&M 6, Arkansas 0

Arkansas and Texas A&M christened their decades-long rivalry at the dawn of the 1900s, an antiquated era of college football, “when the forward pass was illegal and both touchdowns and field goals were worth five points.”

Their duel marked not only the first Saturday Halloween of the 20th century, but also the first game between the schools.

The Aggies were strong that year, while Arkansas — known then as the Cardinals — had to rough up Fort Smith High School (now Northside) to eek out three wins.

This innocuous game between Arkansas and A&M began an unintentional, intermittent tradition, as the programs clashed on Halloween six more times over the ensuing century.

9. Rivalry renewed | Oct. 31, 2020 | No. 8 Texas A&M 42, Arkansas 31

Before their 2020 showdown, it had been 50 years since Arkansas and A&M had suited up on Halloween.

Arkansas couldn’t keep pace with the high-octane Aggies, who scored on their first four drives. A late touchdown made the game seem closer than what the final score hinted.

The 2020 contest also marked the first Aggies-Hogs Halloween duel as SEC foes, as well as Arkansas’ first haunted outing against a worthy opponent since 1998.

The Razorbacks had demolished Eastern Michigan and Tennessee-Martin during Halloween contests in 2009 and 2015, respectively.

8. “Like kissing your sister”| Oct. 31, 1992 | Auburn 24, Arkansas 24

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Arkansas was nearing the end of a humbling inaugural season in the SEC when it made its first trip to Jordan-Hare stadium to face Auburn.

The Hogs didn’t find out until game day that the Tigers were retiring Bo Jackson’s jersey at halftime, a revelation that seemed neither to inspire the team or deflate them.

Despite a career day from Auburn running back James Bostic — 211 rushing yards and two touchdowns —

the game has lingered as little more than a headscratcher for both programs. In describing a tie to The Birmingham News in 2016, former Arkansas quarterback Barry Lunney, Jr., framed it as akin to “kissing your sister, not much to remember about that.”

7. Double dipping | Oct. 31, 1987 | Arkansas 38, Rice 14

The Razorbacks feasted on the Owls for both of their Halloween games of the 1980s.

Arkansas first beat Rice 41-7 in 1981 and then returned to Houston’s cavernous Rice Stadium for a similar thrashing six years later.

The Hogs rebounded down the stretch, despite an ugly loss in Little Rock to Miami (FL) and an absolutely heartbreaking, 16-14, defeat against a lousy Texas team, to reach the Liberty Bowl, where they fell to No. 15 Georgia.

6. Streaking Porkers | Oct. 31, 1964 | No. 4 Arkansas 17, Texas A&M 0

Arkansas scored all 17 of its points against A&M during the first half and then weathered three stoppages in the second half thanks to rowdy Aggies fans.

A&M was the second of five straight shutouts for an Arkansas defense that allowed a paltry 5.8 points per game en route to the National Championship. It was also Arkansas’ ninth straight win over A&M, which still stands as the Hogs’ longest victory steak in the rivalry.

5. SWC champs | Oct. 31, 1936 | Arkansas 18, Texas A&M 0

Dubbed the “passing-est team in the nation” thanks to their prolific aerial attack — throwing a then-unimaginable 29 times per game — Arkansas thumped A&M to spark a mid-season turnaround.

After starting 2-3, the Hogs cruised past A&M and won their final five games, including the season finale against Texas, to capture the SWC crown.

The streak also helped Arkansas break into the Associated Press rankings for the first time in school history, where they finished the season No. 18.

Another bit of trivia: Arkansas’ prolific passing in 1936 bested even that of the vaunted Green Bay Packers, who won the NFL title that year throwing the pigskin just under 22 times per game.

4. No contest | Oct. 31, 1970 | No. 8 Arkansas 45, Texas A&M 6

The rout was on just after kickoff.

Arkansas dominated on both sides of the ball, rolling to a 38-0 halftime lead in College Station thanks in part to two A&M fumbles early in the game.

Led by All-American defensive end Bruce James, the Razorbacks sacked Aggies quarterback Lex James 11 times for -118 yards.

The 39-point shellacking is the largest Hogs victory in the series. It was also part of six straight Arkansas wins on Halloween dating back to 1953, when the Hogs thrashed the Aggies 41-14.

3. Cardiac kids | Oct. 31, 1998 | No. 14 Arkansas 24, Auburn 21

Arkansas did its best to frighten the Razorback faithful who made the trek to Auburn — committing five turnovers and nearly blowing a 17-7 lead — before going ahead on a rushing touchdown late in the third quarter.

The win pushed the Razorbacks to 7-0, their best start yet since joining the SEC, and also marked their first victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

CBS also took note of Arkansas’ prowess as a second-half team, noting the Razorbacks needed comebacks to win three of their four SEC games while outscoring opponents 137-33 in the final two quarters.

2. Hogs use “toes to advantage” | Oct. 31, 1925 | Arkansas 12, LSU 0

Led by George Cole — a future Arkansas coach, athletic director and namesake of the Razorbacks’ baseball field — the Hogs used a powerful running game to thump LSU in what was becoming a fierce rivalry settled annually in Shreveport, La.

Cole scored a 45-yard touchdown and booted a field goal to help lead Arkansas to its fourth straight victory in the series, which still stands as the Hogs’ longest win streak over the mighty Tigers.

1. Bowl bound | Oct. 31, 1959 | No. 17 Arkansas 12, Texas A&M 7

Arkansas was in dire need of a victory after back-to-back losses had derailed a promising season when they welcomed A&M into Fayetteville for Homecoming weekend.

But the Hogs, 21-point favorites against the Aggies, found themselves locked in a scoreless tie at halftime.

Thanks to the heroics of future NFL Hall of Fame receiver Lance Alworth and All-American Jim Mooty, the Razorbacks overcame five turnovers to come back from a 7-6 deficit late in the game.

Arkansas rode the momentum to five straight wins, including a victory over Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl.

100 Things I Hate About College Football

Stockfootball
Editor’s note — This article was originally written for Yahoo! Voices in September 2013. It has been reprinted here with the author’s permission.

Gene Wojciechowski’s ode to college football is a great read. The only problem is that it’s written as a love letter; he was (mis)guided by his emotions.

And don’t get me wrong, I love college football.

But let’s be realistic about this. While Wojciechowski does point out that college football has its shortcomings, simply giving them a passing mention isn’t enough.

As the Summer of Manziel has shown, it’s astonishing how college football has weathered so many scandals without serious blemish. The players and even the sport itself seem practically untouchable.

So why would someone who claims to be a fan find so many reasons to hate a sport they care so deeply about?

In hopes of fixing it, of course.

Wojciechowski got a lot of things right in his article. College football is an awesomely inspirational sport that’s uniquely American.

But it’s time to stop looking at it through rose-colored lenses.

Why? Here are 100 reasons.

1. I hate universities that make football a priority over education.

2. That in my home state of Arkansas, the football coach makes more than the medical school’s Chief of Surgery.

3. I hate the over-commercialization of the game.

4. Naming rights.

5. That places like TCF Bank Stadium and Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium exist.

6. Fields with corporate stains on them.

7. The sheer number of bowl games. We’re up to 35 and counting.

8. 6-6 teams qualifying for a bowl.

9. And that nearly all the bowl games have names that sound like advertising slogans.

10. I hate that winning the Heisman Trophy has become a beauty contest.

11. Tim Tebow finishing as a Heisman finalist in 2008, while Graham Harrell missed the cut.

12. The stigma toward defensive players. If Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh couldn’t win one, what hope is there?

13. The fact that there are 125 schools competing in the FBS this year and no player outside of the Power Six has a chance to win the Heisman.

14. Stadium expansion while the rest of campus crumbles.

15. And the belief that having a bigger stadium equates having a better team.

16. Houston Nutt. We put up with this guy for a decade. How?

17. I hate pay-for-play proponents.

18. Writers who claim the NCAA treats [football] players like slaves.

19. Senior seasons. And the stigma that comes with it. Because in today’s game it usually means the player has no football prospects after college. Either that, or he’s a reserve.

20. The players who don’t care about the tradition or the pageantry of college football.

21. Knowing that they wouldn’t stick around campus any longer than they already have to.

22. I hate the BCS. Even now that it’s gone. I hate, hate, hate it.

23. Remember in 2003, when Oklahoma lost in the Big 12 Championship Game but still got to play in the BCS Championship Game?

24. Or when the Sooners got in again the next year instead of Auburn, and got thrashed by USC?

25. An inept and out of touch NCAA.

26. That high-profile schools and players often escape harsh punishments.

27. Terrell Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, and Solomon Thomas playing in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

28. Also, we are two years removed from the Nevin Shapiro scandal at Miami (Fla.). Remember that? I guess a handful of suspensions was enough to satisfy the NCAA.

29. People who feel sorry for Joe Paterno and Penn State.

30. That for a few months, the fate of Penn State’s football program and Joe Paterno’s legacy was more talked about than Jerry Sandusky’s victims.

31. I hate that the Southwest Conference, one of college football’s premier leagues for more than 80 years, collapsed.

32. And the domino effect of conference realignment that it started.

33. West Virginia being in the Big 12.

34. Syracuse moving to the ACC.

35. Missouri joining the SEC instead of Florida State or Clemson.

36. The idea of Connecticut, South Florida, and Tulsa all being in the same conference.

37. I hate that most teams schedule an absolute dog on homecoming.

38. The fact that Florida hasn’t played an out of conference opponent on the road in nearly 25 years.

39. Indiana being a football-member of the Big 10.

40. That schools have cut down on playing in neutral site locations across their state.

41. Alabama and Auburn moving the Iron Bowl out of Legion Field.

42. Ole Miss and Mississippi State moving the Egg Bowl away from Jackson, Miss.

43. I hate the kitschy announcers.

44. Gary Danielson and Verne Lundquist.

45. Pam Ward.

46. Brent Musberger.

47. Bob Griese.

48. This guy.

49. Can’t forget Mark May and Lou Holtz, either.

50. I hate that the Oklahoma-Texas game changed its name to the “Red River Rivalry.”

51. That Arkansas and Arkansas State won’t play each other.

52. The SEC crackdown on cowbells at Mississippi State games.

53. Boise State’s “Smurf Turf.”

54. Eastern Washington’s red turf.

55. The University of Central Arkansas’ alternating purple and gray turf.

56. I hate the ridiculous number of terrible uniform combinations.

The Maryland Terrapins have got to be the worst offenders.

57. People who think Bedlam is a premiere rivalry game. C’mon, Oklahoma holds an 75-17-7 all-time advantage. The Sooners only lost one game between 1967 and 1994.

58. AP writers who give No. 1 votes to undeserving teams.

59. The terrible officials that permeate every conference.

60. The terrible officiating that seems to haunt every big Arkansas game.

61. I hate how ESPN only gives intense coverage to the established programs.

62. The completely undeserved hype a high-profile program gets if it starts the season 2-0.

(Looking at you, 2009 Miami Hurricanes.)

63. And remember when good coaches used to stay at one school for an extended amount of time?

64. I hate that fans are dissuaded from storming the field.

65. That it happens too often now.

66. And that you might get arrested if you do it.

67. Oh, and the SEC will levy a serious fine against your school as well.

68. I hate that a pizza and a coke at Razorback stadium costs more than $20.

69. That Arkansas made student tickets harder to get.

70. Let’s not forget, they also stopped guaranteeing students seats.

71. And U of A’s eagerness to build a new practice facility while the campus runs out of space for its students.

72. I hate the “facilities arms races.”

73. Which happen while a majority of college students and athletes of less popular sports wallow in debt that will haunt them the rest of their lives. (Marble floors imported from Italy, are you kidding me?)

74. The people who believe football players “go pro” in something outside the world of football.

75. The people who believe a majority of college football players are “student athletes.”

76. And people who think the football players live in a dorm and eat in a cafeteria similar to anything like that of a normal student.

77. That students are forced to move their cars from student lots before game day and have to pay out of pocket to park it somewhere else. (Often far from their dorms.)

78. That Matt Leinart got to play one more season at USC because he took Ball Room Dancing as his only class.

79. Athletes who get free (expensive) textbooks and sell them back at a profit.

80. That Arkansas’ beautiful video replay board has most of its picture obscured by AT&T ads.

81. I hate how football players are treated differently than their fellow student athletes.

82. When authorities look the other way when a member of the football team is involved in a quagmire.

83. Case in point: Michael Dyer.

84. Coaches who get a slap on the wrist.

85. Jim Tressle at Ohio State.

86. And that Tressel actually believed Pryor’s promise that he would return for his senior season.

87. The rap sheet for Urban Meyer’s players.

88. And many (Leach), many others.

89. The depressing notion that steroids might have infiltrated the college game.

90. I hate that the Arkansas-Texas rivalry is dead.

91. And the Hogs will no longer play LSU at the end of the season.

92. Instead we’ll play Missouri. The Hogs have played the Tigers five times. Five. Now it replaces the LSU game. Yippee.

93. Even though I won’t miss LSU’s Les Miles mispronouncing Arkansas.

94. This pass interference call against Arkansas in the 2010 Florida game.

95. That Bobby Petrino will coach a major Division I team again.

96. The fact that the immortal Bear Bryant (an Arkansas native) potentially was taking a job in Fayetteville when World War II broke out.

97. Coaches who abandon their schools because of an oncoming scandal. (Looking at you, Pete Carroll and Chip Kelly).

98. Razorback fans who think winning a national title makes or breaks the season. (We’ve only appeared in three SEC Championship Games since leaving the SWC in 1991)

99. That tons of scholarships go to football, leaving the rest of the athletic programs to fight over the scraps.

100. And lastly, I hate that there are so many egregious problems with a sport I love so dearly.