Arkansas football schedule boasts a blast from its SWC past

When Sam Pittman’s Arkansas Razorbacks suit up for his second season at the helm of the Hogs’ football program, there will be a distinct Southwest flavor to the September schedule.

The Razorbacks open the season with back-to-back games against with fellow former Southwest Conference opponents Rice on Sept. 4 and the Texas Longhorns on Sept. 11. In keeping with the theme, the Razorbacks will also play SEC West opponent Texas A&M, which also was a SWC member, on Sept. 25 in Arlington, Texas.

The Razorbacks began the conference re-alignment movement when it bolted from the now defunct Southwest Conference in 1991 in all sports but football. The Hogs played a SWC schedule in 1991, but began playing an SEC football schedule in 1992.

The SWC limped along without the Hogs until it dissolved in 1996 when Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech joined former Big 8 schools to form the Big 12, and Rice, Houston, SMU, and TCU scattering to other conferences.

Of course, Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2011 with Missouri, and TCU then took a spot in the Big 12.

For old-timers like me, that will make the Hogs’ September schedule a bit more meaningful as we can reminisce about the Hogs’ hey days in the SWC.

Texas was always the measuring stick for the Hogs back then. Beating the Longhorns made every season better, and a loss to T-sippers made even a good season a little bit bitter.

Rice, however, struggled against the Hogs, with the Owls winning just four games against Arkansas since 1960 — 7-0 in 1963, 23-20 in 1972, 17-7 in 1973, 17-16 in 1980, and 19-11 in 1990.

As for the Aggies, the Hogs usually had their way with A&M in SWC play. Bobby Petrino’s Hogs tagged the Aggies with three consecutive losses from 2009-2011, but the Razorbacks have lost nine straight games to Texas A&M since 2012, including three overtime affairs in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Maybe Pittman’s second Razorback team will be able to reverse their fortune against the Aggies this year in Arlington?

The rest of the Hogs’ schedule will be challenging to say the least. The Razorbacks again will face one of the toughest if not the toughest schedules in the nation with trips to Georgia on Oct. 2, LSU on Nov. 13, and Alabama on Nov. 20.

The Razorbacks play host to SEC opponents in Razorback Stadium on Oct. 16 against Auburn and Nov. 6 against Mississippi State.

The Hogs close out the season on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 27) by hosting Missouri at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Georgia Southern on Sept. 18 and Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Oct. 23 will provide the Razorbacks a couple of chances to catch their breath in an otherwise daunting but enticing football schedule.

2021 Arkansas Football Schedule

Sept. 4 – Rice
Sept. 11 – Texas
Sept. 18 – Georgia Southern
Sept. 25 – Texas A&M (in Arlington, Texas)
Oct. 2 – at Georgia
Oct. 9 – at Ole Miss
Oct. 16 – Auburn
Oct. 23 – Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Nov. 6 – Mississippi State
Nov. 13 – at LSU
Nov. 20 – at Alabama
Nov. 27 – Missouri (in Little Rock)