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The most significant game in Arkansas razorback football history?

Wally Hall actually said on his radio program on Nov 22, 2011 that the Arkansas v. LSU game on Nov 25, 2011 is the most significant game in razorback history. I have to respectfully disagree. I will agree that it is in the top 5, but I will start a  list today of other games that were more significant.

Today it is easy to make the case for the big shootout.

Here is the info from wikipedia:

1969 Texas vs. Arkansas football game

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The “Game of the Century”
(1969 version)
 
Texas Longhorns Arkansas Razorbacks
(9-0) (9-0)
15 14
Head coach: 
Darrell Royal
Head coach: 
Frank Broyles
AP   Coaches  
1   1  
AP   Coaches  
2   2  
  1 2 3 4 Total
Texas 0 0 0 15 15
Arkansas 7 0 7 0 14
 
Date December 6, 1969
Stadium Razorback Stadium
Location Fayetteville, Arkansas
Attendance 47,500[1]
United States TV coverage
Network ABC
Announcers Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson

The 1969 Texas vs. Arkansas football game, dubbed The Big Shootout and sometimes referred to as the “Game of The Century”, was a legendary college football game on December 6, 1969 in which the top-ranked Texas Longhorns visited the second-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Longhorns came back from a 14-0 deficit after three quarters to win 15-14. [2] They would go on to win the Cotton Bowl Classic and be selected National Champions. [3]

Contents

 [hide

[edit] Buildup

The relative parity which had existed within the Southwest Conference ended with the arrival of Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles at their respective schools, with either Texas or Arkansas winning or sharing the SWC crown 8 out of the 10 years leading up to the game. [1] Both Texas and Arkansas had won one national championship in the 1960s, and the schools developed a bit of a rivalry after Arkansas defeated in consecutive years top-ranked Texas teams in 1964 and 1965. [4] In 1968 Texas handed Arkansas their only loss of the year.

The 1969 season marked the 100th anniversary of college football. This game would decide the Southwest Conference Championship, as well as its berth in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and ABC television executive Beano Cook arranged for Texas and Arkansas to play the final game of the regular season, moving their usual October date to the first weekend in December. The deal ABC Sports executive Roone Arledge persuaded Arkansas coach Frank Broyles to move the game was a promise that President Richard Nixon would attend and that ABC would televise Arkansas the next season’s opener (against Stanford and its star quarterback, Jim Plunkett). Broyles even talked Arkansas officials into installing AstroTurf, then still a novelty, at Razorback Stadium. The game would kick off at Noon Central Standard Time since the stadium in Fayetteville did not have lights at the time. There were early discussions of moving the game to an evening start at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, where Arkansas played two or three home games per season, but ABC did not consider the lights at Little Rock to be sufficient.

For a long while, it looked as though the game would be a meeting of also-rans. Ohio State was dominating the Big Ten and the chances of the game being anything other than just the last game of the season were pretty remote. However, as the Longhorns took a Saturday off to prepare for their upcoming game on Thanksgiving Day with Texas A&M, Michigan and its upstart coach Bo Schembechler upset the Buckeyes. Texas vaulted to No. 1 in the polls and Arkansas claimed the No. 2 spot. Ultimately, due to good fortune, it worked as the move made the game the focus of the entire sporting world doing a television rating of a 52.1 share, meaning more than half the TV sets in the country were tuned to this game.

That set the stage. Even the day took on an eerie feeling. Billy Graham attended to give the pregame prayer. The night before, a steady, cold rain fell in Fayetteville and an icy fog hovered over the stadium as the crowd awaited the arrival of President Nixon, who would award a plaque symbolic of the National Championship to the winner. Due to the lack of a suitable airport in northwest Arkansas (Fayetteville’s Drake Field was far too small, and Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport would not open for another 30 years), Marine One landed on the practice fields just east of Razorback Stadium as the game was starting.

[edit] The game

In the 100th year of college football, it truly was the “Game of the Century.” In a game between unbeatens played at Arkansas’ Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, the Texas Longhorns were ranked Number 1 in the country, having won 18 straight games. The Arkansas Razorbacks were ranked Number 2, having won 15 straight. The Texas wishbone attack, then still a novelty, was an offensive juggernaut that averaged over 44 points per game coming into the contest. Arkansas led the nation in scoring defense, yielding only 6.8 points per game. In addition, both the Razorback offense and Texas defense were ranked in the top ten nationally.

 

The Longhorns got off to a sloppy start, losing a fumble on the second play from scrimmage and turning the ball over a total of six times. A 1-yard leap into the end zone by Bill Burnett in the first quarter and a 29-yard touchdown reception by Chuck Dicus in the third quarter put the Hogs up 14-0 with 15:00 to play.

James Street scrambled for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter. Longhorns coach Darrell Royal had decided before the game to go for a two-point conversion after the Longhorn’s first touchdown to avoid a tie, and Street dove into the end zone to make it 14-8.

Arkansas quarterback Bill Montgomery next led the Razorbacks on a 73-yard drive down to the Texas 7. On third down, Montgomery was intercepted in the end zone by Danny Lester, Arkansas’ first turnover of the game. A field goal would have likely put the game out of reach for Texas.

Still down 14-8, Texas began a desperate drive for the end zone that appeared to stall with 4:47 remaining when Royal opted for yet another gamble on fourth-and-3 from their own 43-yard line. During a timeout that Texas took before the fateful play, Royal shouted at Street, “Right 53 Veer pass.” The play was a deep pattern throw to the tight end. The play wasn’t in the Texas game plan package. “Are you sure that’s the call you want?” Street said. “Damn right I’m sure!” Royal snapped. Street had noticed Arkansas defenders looking into the Texas huddle, so he fixed his gaze on split end Cotton Speyrer while explaining the play to Randy Peschel, saying “Randy, I’m looking and pointing at Cotton, but I’m talking to you.” Street then hit Peschel on the dramatic play, with Peschel making a difficult catch over his shoulder in double coverage. It not only converted on fourth down, but also gained 44 yards, putting the Longhorns on the Razorbacks 13.

[2] Two plays later Jim Bertelsen ran in for the game-tying touchdown. Donnie Wigginton, the third-string quarterback who was the holder, made a big save on a high snap and Happy Feller booted the extra point for the winning score with 3:58 remaining.

Arkansas made a push into Texas territory, hoping for a field goal from All-American kicker Bill McClard. Arkansas was down to the Texas 40 when Tom Campell intercepted Montgomery on the Texas 21-yard line with less than a minute left.

[edit] Controversy

President Richard Nixon attended the game along with several members of his staff and U.S. Representatives George H.W. Bush of Texas and John Paul Hammerschmidt of Arkansas, having announced that he would give a plaque to the winner, proclaiming it to be the National Champion — to the chagrin of observers who thought it premature to do so before the New Year’s Day bowl games, and of fans of Penn State, which would also end the season undefeated. Arkansas took a 14-0 lead, and held it into the fourth quarter, but Texas came from behind to win, 15-14, and accepted Nixon’s plaque.

Texas beat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and removed any doubt as to whether it deserved consideration as National Champion, although Penn State fans still insist that their team, also undefeated and winner of the Orange Bowl, was better. However, it is worth noting that the Cotton Bowl Classic first invited Penn State to play the Southwest Conference champions. The Nittany Lions declined the invitation, preferring to spend New Year’s Day in warm Miami, where they defeated Big Eight champion Missouri. This decision was made while Ohio State was still ranked #1 with only one game to play, so at the time, it did not appear that a national championship was likely to be at stake. The 1969 Texas-Penn State conflict, never settled on the field, has been one of the major arguments in favor of a Division I-A playoff. Arkansas lost the 1970 Sugar Bowl to Ole Miss, led by Archie Manning. The entire Texas-Penn State debate and Nixon’s involvement led to a quote from Penn State coach Joe Paterno, a conservative Republican, during a commencement speech at Penn State in 1974 about Nixon, “How could Nixon know so much about college football in 1969 and so little about Watergate in 1973?”

This game has been nicknamed “Dixie’s Last Stand,” since it was the last major American sporting event played between two all-white teams, although two schools in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), LSU and Ole Miss, did not integrate their varsity football squads until 1972.

With the Vietnam War still raging and Nixon in attendance, protestors came to the game, and one of them got into a tree overlooking the stadium and held up an antiwar sign. An urban legend grew up around this game, claiming that this protestor was Arkansas native and future President Bill Clinton. Clinton, however, was not at the game, as he was then a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford in England, and was listening to the game on a shortwave radio with some American friends.

The two coaches in this game, Darrell Royal of Texas and Frank Broyles of Arkansas, both retired after the 1976 season. Both became athletic directors at their respective schools, Royal for the entire Texas athletic program and Broyles solely for the Arkansas men’s program, as Arkansas had a completely separate women’s athletic department from 1971 through 2007. Royal retired from his AD job in 1980, but Broyles continued on through 2007, with the men’s and women’s athletic programs merging immediately after his retirement. Broyles spearheaded Arkansas’ move from the SWC to the SEC in 1991, and was later instrumental in the Razorbacks and Longhorns playing a two-year series in 2003 (at Austin) won by Arkansas and 2004 (at Fayetteville) won by Texas. The last meeting was in 2008 in Austin won by Texas 52-10. Texas holds a 56-21-0 (72%) lead in the all-time series between the schools. They are scheduled to play again in Fayetteville in 2014.

Below is an article I got from ESPN that calls this Friday’s game the game of the century:

Originally Published: November 22, 2011

Arkansas-LSU, BCS future and more

Wojciechowski By Gene Wojciechowski
ESPN.com
Archive

This week’s top 20:

20. Game Of The Century Jr.

Friday is why God invented the couch, the 52-inch plasma, leftover turkey and the Southeastern Conference.

[+] EnlargeLes Miles

Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesLes Miles’ team is getting used to being the center of attention.

At precisely 2:30 p.m. ET, my rear end will be sofa bound and the TV remote will summon the satellite waves from faraway Baton Rouge, La. And for the next glorious three hours or so (or until I have to drive to O’Hare and catch my flight to Atlanta for Saturday’s Iron Bowl at Auburn), I’ll watch, like many of you, the supposed second-best matchup of the season: No. 3 Arkansas at No. 1 LSU.

I can’t wait. Then again, I also couldn’t wait for the Nov. 5 LSU-Bama game — Game of the Century Sr.

That was No. 1 versus No. 2, but the game itself didn’t live up to the hype. How could it?

And in retrospect, the outcome didn’t do much to really define the national championship race. Bama lost, 9-6, but it’s no worse off today than it was after missing four field goals that night at Bryant-Denny Stadium. It was No. 2 then, it’s No. 2 now.

The same sort of thing could happen Friday afternoon. A scenario exists where LSU could lose, but still end up in the national championship game against Bama. And if that happens, we’d have Game of the Century III … in less than 2½ months.

The dominoes could fall this way: Arkansas upsets LSU, Bama beats Auburn, Georgia beats Arkansas in the SEC championship game. Or … LSU beats Arkansas, Bama beats Auburn, Georgia beats LSU in the SEC championship.

Depending on what happens with Oklahoma State (or maybe not), we could have a No. 1 Bama versus No. 2 LSU on Jan. 9 at the Superdome.

Meanwhile, the smart guys in Vegas seem to be leaning heavily toward LSU beating up the Razorbacks. LSU is a 14-point favorite, though that could be Tigers fans driving up the spread. But as a helpful reminder, Oklahoma State was nearly a four-touchdown favorite against Iowa State last Friday. How’d that work out?

Anyway, I’m taking LSU, but unlike Century Sr., this one will have actual offense. Something in the 28-24 neighborhood sounds about right.

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Michael Dyer trash talking before Arkansas game on Oct 8th?

I don’t know what it exactly means, but you can judge for yourself after watching the video above.

Football: Auburn Duo Eager For Arkansas Homecoming

Posted on 06 October 2011

By Robbie Neiswanger
Arkansas News Bureau • rneiswanger@arkansasnews.com

FAYETTEVILLE — Kiehl Frazier began attending Arkansas games when he was five years old.

Over the years, he watched Arkansas play countless times in Razorback Stadium. He went to games with his family. He’d watch with friends. He even saw one as part of a recruiting visit to campus, calling the 2009 Georgia game one of his most memorable experiences.

So walking into the stadium won’t be anything new to Frazier when he returns this weekend. The difference, of course, will be the fact he’s wearing an Auburn uniform and trying to help the Tigers beat Arkansas.

“I can’t wait,” Frazier said Wednesday. “Fayetteville will always be my home and I grew up watching the Razorbacks and going to the game. So it will be a dream come true getting to play in the stadium.”

Frazier, a Shiloh Christian graduate, and Auburn running back Michael Dyer (Little Rock Christian) will make their first trip back to their home state with the Tigers on Saturday. Dyer carries a big role in offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s offense, leading the Tigers in rushing (567 yards). Frazier is finding his niche, offering a change of pace to starter Barrett Trotter at quarterback as a true freshman.

Neither has played in Razorback Stadium in their football careers, but Dyer knows what to expect when they’re greeted by Arkansas fans Saturday night.

“I’m sure they’ll have some boos and stuff like that,” Dyer said. “But that’s part of it when you’re one of those guys that could’ve stayed home and played, but decided to go somewhere else.”

Both Dyer and Frazier were recruited by Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino and his staff, but selected the Tigers for a chance to play in Malzahn’s offense. They joined a recent run of former Arkansas high school players to head to Auburn, joining former Tigers like tackle Lee Ziemba and receiver/quarterback Kodi Burns.

It’s hard to argue Dyer made the wrong choice after playing a big role in Auburn’s championship season.

He rushed for 1,093 yards, including 143 in the national title game win. His 37-yard run in the fourth quarter helped set up the game-winning field goal.

“I came down here and was able to do the things I was asked to do during my recruiting process and be able to play and contribute to the team,” Dyer said.

Dyer now is one of just a few returning offensive starters in a revamped attack. He showed some of his leadership in tying an Auburn record with 41 carries for 141 yards in the 16-13 win at South Carolina. It included 16 carries after suffering an ankle injury.

“That was just kind of the plan going in, and that’s kind of what was working the best,” Malzahn said of Dyer’s workload. “But we don’t plan on giving the ball 41 times to our running back each week.”

Frazier has only attempted one pass, but has helped the Tigers more and more with his running ability.

Frazier — who is still the third-team quarterback behind Barrett Trotter and Clint Moseley — ranks third in rushing (81 yards). Most of the production came in his 48-yard performance against South Carolina.

“I’ve really thought he’s done a very solid job with what we’ve asked him to do,” Malzahn said. “Last week he came in during some key moments in the game and really, really made big plays for us.”

Both players would love nothing more than to enjoy success homecomings in Arkansas on Saturday.

Malzahn is the first to admit the return trip can be “weird” and “odd” the first time around. He said that was the case for him in 2008, when he came back to Arkansas as Tulsa’s offensive coordinator.

The newness has worn off for Malzahn, who is still looking for his first win in Arkansas. He’s confident Dyer and Frazier will handle the situation Saturday.

“From what I saw (Tuesday), they’re approaching it like any other game,” Malzahn said. “I’m sure there will be different emotions once they get there and all that, but they’ve got a job to do, and we’re playing against a very good defense. So they’ve got to be prepared and not get too high or too low.”

Dyer and Frazier said it’s no problem, although gameday probably can’t arrive quick enough for either Arkansas native. Both were busy earlier this week collecting tickets for family and friends.

Frazier said it will be good to seem them, too, although he’s certain not everyone will be rooting for Auburn to knock Arkansas in Fayetteville.

“They definitely want the Razorbacks to win,” Frazier said of his friends. “There’s deep loyalty there. But they’ve been kind of telling me they hope I do well.”

Saturday’s Ticket
No. 15 Auburn (4-1) vs. No. 10 Arkansas (4-1)
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville
TV: ESPN
Radio: Razorback Sports Network
Satellite Radio: Sirius (Ch. 91), XM (Ch. 91)
Series Record: Auburn leads 8-11-1
Last Meeting: Auburn 65, Arkansas 43 in 2010
Coaches: Arkansas — Bobby Petrino (27-16 in fourth season); Auburn — Gene Chizik (26-6 in third season)