Obviously, right now is a tough time to be an Arkansas football fan. A third straight loss on Saturday only ramped up the frustration level among Hog supporters, while adding fuel to the fire for the enemies and detractors.
It’s times like this that fans are looking for any outlet, or better yet, any reason to cheer.
Fortunately, we’re in luck. There are 18 other teams of Razorbacks that compete at the NCAA intercollegiate level each year – 19, if you include the club hockey team.
Whereas, many fans are ready to take a break from the gridiron scene, other Razorback teams are giving fans lots of reasons to Call the Hogs.
Granted, football has become the financial lifeline of athletic departments, nationwide, including at the high school level. But when it comes to the true die-hard fans, any athlete representing the University of Arkansas and wearing that beloved Hog logo is worthy of our support.
Since joining the Southeastern Conference in 1992, Arkansas has yet to win a conference title in football, although the Hogs have played in three SEC Championship games – 1995, 2002 and 2006. The Razorbacks’ last football conference championship came in 1989, as a member of the Southwest Conference, when Quinn Grovey became the only quarterback to ever lead the program to back-to-back titles.
But throughout its rich history, Arkansas has won numerous conference championships in a multitude of sports. The Razorbacks competed for many SWC conference titles, before transitioning to the SEC 30 years ago. Since then, the Razorbacks have done much more than hold their own in the SEC, winning more than 150 conference crowns over the past three decades.
Look no further than two years ago, when the Hogs combined to produce the most bountiful SEC championship haul in school history. Not only did they sweep the titles in men’s and women’s track & field, but they also won the regular season and post-season baseball tournament, along with regular-season titles in softball and soccer. That was also the year that pitcher Kevin Kopps was a unanimous award winner as the nation’s best baseball player.
Arkansas has also hoisted a few trophies on the national stage. Actually, the Razorbacks’ 43 overall team national championships are currently the most by any SEC school. Sure, 20 of those have come from men’s indoor track and field, 10 have been in men’s outdoor track and field, 11 in men’s cross country, along with the 1964 football national championship and 1994 basketball title run. But still, Razorbacks are Razorbacks, and the trophies are all the same size. And that doesn’t include the numerous individual national championships earned by Arkansas athletes.
The basketball program has yet to win a conference title under Eric Musselman, but in the Muss Bus’s three post-seasons since his arrival, Arkansas has been the last SEC team standing in the NCAA Tournament each year. That includes back-to-back trips to the Elite 8 and a Sweet 16 run last season.
But, if you are a die-hard Hog fan and currently ready to throw in the towel for the football season, look no further than the soccer pitch, the volleyball court, the tennis courts, the swimming pool, or the golf course – all places to cheer for some deserving Razorbacks, right now.
The elite women’s soccer team (8-2-1, 4-0-0 SEC) is currently ranked No. 7 in the country and has already churned off four straight wins in SEC play, following Thursday’s 1-0 win over Missouri. The Razorbacks feature graduate forward Anna Podojil, the best player in program history, and arguably the best player in the country. She leads all of Division I with 129 points and is tied for the lead with 48 goals.
Need to get some cheering out of your system? The Razorbacks soccer team will host Georgia on Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Razorback Field, with the game being aired on SEC+.
The soaring Arkansas volleyball team (13-2, 3-0 SEC), ranked 14th nationally, is having one of its finest seasons ever, winning its first three SEC matches, while losing just one set along the way. Since a pair of heart-breaking losses to the nation’s No. 1 team, Wisconsin, early in the season, the Razorbacks have reeled off 11 straight wins. The Hogs defeated No. 24 Auburn in straight sets last week. If you have never witnessed it for yourself, the excitement level at a volleyball match inside the legendary Barnhill Arena, is nearly unmatched by any other sport.
Do you still have a need to Call them Hogs? Well, after a trip to Baton Rouge to face LSU on Thursday, the VolleyHogs will be back in the Barn on Sunday at 3 p.m. to host Missouri. Both matches will also air on SEC+.
Six Razorback tennis players from the men’s team made it to the finals of the PTT 25K tournament in Fayetteville last week, with three winning their final matches. Two from the women’s team also won their final matches. The teams are in Tulsa this week, competing in the ITA All-American Championships.
The Razorbacks swimming and diving team opened the season with a win over Kentucky on Sept. 22, and will next travel to Baton Rouge on Oct. 12.
The Arkansas women’s and men’s golf programs, ranked 3rd and 11th nationally by Golfweek, are currently hosting the Collegiate Invitational at the Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, through Wednesday. Both are vying for team titles, as well as individual championships.
So, as the football team tries to regroup and reinvigorate the Razorback fanbase, feel free to explore other avenues of fandemonium. Let those Hog Calls rip, and turn that frustration into something joyous or positive.
There are plenty of other venues, and Razorbacks, that need – and deserve – your support.