I spent some time earlier this week reliving all of Arkansas’s memorable losses since joining the SEC. After last Saturday’s Markham Street Meltdown it felt right. Now that the unranked Hogs get a free shot at the #1 team in the land, it also feels appropriate to look at the best wins for the Razorbacks in the same time frame.
We’re trying to look on the bright side. With ten weeks left in the season, we need to be as positive as possible. What’s the alternative? Sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves while another championship passes us by? That’s what basketball season is for these days. (ZING!)
The good news is that Arkansas has pulled off bigger upsets with less talent. It has been almost 5 years since the Hogs knocked off the #1 team in the country, so we’re due for another big win. To hopefully invite good juju into Razorback Nation, let’s take a stroll down Memory Lane and remember the good times we’ve all enjoyed as Hogs fans since joining the Southeastern Conference.
1) Tennessee (Nov. 13, 1999) – Redemption! After the crushing loss at Neyland Stadium just one year earlier, Clint Stoerner and Anthony Lucas produced one of the greatest moments in the history of Razorback Stadium. The Volunteers entered the stadium ranked #3 in the nation, hoping to repeat as national champs. Instead they left in defeat, coincidentally by the exact same score of their win on Rocky Top the previous year. Arkansas 28, #3 Tennessee 24
2) Tennessee (Oct. 10, 1992) – In the first matchup between the two schools as conference foes, the overmatched Razorbacks marched into Knoxville with an interim coach a few weeks after a humiliating loss. They came back across the Mississippi River as dragon slayers. Orlando Watters ripped off a 71-yard punt return for a TD. Freshman quarterback Barry Lunney, Jr. and the offense failed to convert a tying 2-point conversion. Darwin Irelland recovered Todd Wright’s onside kick attempt with 2:27 remaining in the game. Lunney connected with Tracy Caldwell on 3rd and 16. And Wright, goofy helmet and all, slide in a 41-yard field goal with :02 on the clock. What a ride. I remember it like it was yesterday. Arkansas 25, #3 Tennessee 24
3) Alabama (Sept. 16, 1995) – You want to piss off a Bama fan this weekend? Tell him Lunney-to-Meadors was a catch. Arkansas 20, #13 Alabama 19
4) Texas (Jan. 1, 2000) – Remember Y2K? The way Arkansas ran up, over, and around the Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl you’d think Texas had been up all night waiting on the world to end. Instead it was their season that ended in very, very disappointing fashion. It also marked the end of an era as it was the final time we’d see Stoerner-to-Lucas in Razorback red. #24 Arkansas 27, #14 Texas 6
5) LSU (Nov. 27, 2002) – Almost everyone I know has a story from where they were during this game. I watched this from a bar full of LSU fans in New Orleans. After getting its ass handed to it all day, the Arkansas offense went nuts late – resulting in a signature play that became known as the Miracle on Markham. Arkansas 21, #17 LSU 20
6) LSU (Nov. 23, 2007) – Several things stand out to me about this game. Clearly, it was thrilling to see the Hogs knock off the #1 team in the country. It was also the last time we saw Houston Nutt, Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, and Peyton Hillis all on the same field. And it was the day before I got engaged. Arkansas 50, #1 LSU 48 (3 OT)
7) Ole Miss (Nov. 3, 2001) – The Razorbacks and Rebels wrote a story that autumn night in Oxford, Mississippi, that Mr. William Faulkner himself could never have imagined. Tied at 17-17 after regulation, the game didn’t end until Jermaine Petty stopped Mississippi tight end Doug Zeigler at the 2-yard line to seal this historic win. Never before had a college football game reached 7 overtime periods, and it lands appropriately at the #7 spot on this list. Arkansas 50, Ole Miss 48
8) Texas (Sept. 13, 2003) – The Razorbacks rolled into Austin for the first time since leaving the Southwest Conference and showed all the speed and power the SEC had to offer. Matt Jones, a question mark entering the game due to an injury, looked as good as ever by putting up 241 yards of offense and 2 touchdowns. I remember watching this at my buddy Jon’s house while his just-turned-2-year old son, who is now 11, took a nap. Lots of silent cheers that day. Arkansas 38, #5 Texas 28
9) LSU (Nov. 27, 2010) – How sweet it is! Arkansas finally reached its first BCS bowl game thanks to another win in Little Rock in the Battle of the Boot. Ryan Mallett threw for more than 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in his final regular season game. #12 Arkansas 31, #5 LSU 23
10) Auburn (Oct. 7, 2006) – This game had it all. A breakout performance from Darren McFadden. Freshman sensation Mitch Mustain winning on the road. Beating an Arkansas native head coach roaming the far sideline. And a national television audience watching the Hogs take down the #2 team in the country. Arkansas 27, #2 Auburn 10