Keep the history alive!
Although it was 1936, the Hogs had never won a conference championship (1933 had been forfeited to TCU after it had been determined that an ineligible player had been used in a minor role during three previous games of the season). This season would begin much like the games of the past with the team getting off to a rocky start. After losing three of the first five games, the Hogs would finally put it all together and go on to win out for the remainder of the season and clinch their first official conference title.
During the period of the 1920s under the watchful, coaching eyes of Francis Schmidt and his high scoring "razzle dazzle" offense, the SWC had embraced the passing attack. Passing had come into its own. As Schmidt's successor, Tommy Thomsen and Arkansas would carry on the tradition and became known as the "passingest team in the nation". He had Jack Robbins at tailback/quarterback for dry days, and Dwight "Paddlefoot" Sloan for wet ones. With Jim Benton and Ray Hamilton at receivers, Thomsen finally could focus his eyes on getting Arkansas' first conference title.
The season began on a winning note with the Porkers soundly defeating Pittsburg State at home in Fayetteville by a score of 53-0. The season was off to a good start, but the team was unproven against stiff competition and would soon discover that the season would not be merely a walk in the park.
Robbins had actually outpassed "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh, but Baugh's on-target punting, and the running of Frog fullback Donkey Roberts was good enough to keep the Razorbacks out of the "W" column. (It seems that what is missing now are names like: Slingin', Paddlefoot, Donkey among other screwball terms used during those days by the football players.)
"There is a definite difference in playing to win, and playing to not lose."
Following this game, the Hogs would suffer two more consecutive losses. The first being to George Washington University and the other to LSU. The season was slipping away, but there was still some fight left in that old Hog. Each game would now be played like a team that had nothing to lose. There is a definite difference in playing to win, and playing to not lose. The Hogs were now playing to win.
conference games with the Hogs now winning out. The final tally was a record of 7 wins, 3 losses, and 0 ties. In conference play, Arkansas had a record of 5-1-0 while TCU, who would finish second in conference play, ended with a conference record of 4-1-1. Finally, the Razorback's had won their first official conference title. This had ended a season where the Razorbacks had never been predicted to be in contention for the title. Well, so much for preseason predictions.
Although having the best conference record with the only loss being to the Horned Frogs, it was TCU that got the nod to play in what would be known as the first Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas. Dutch Myere would take his TCU team to do battle with Frank Murray's Marquette squad where Myere would go on to defeat Marquette by a score of 16-6 before a crowd estimated at 17,000 spectators.
Although winning the conference, the Hogs found themselves staying home on New Year's Day and not playing in any post season bowl game. Jack Robbins (in 1936) and Jim Benton (in 1937) from this team would go on to be selected as All-Americans (I previously, had made a mistake by listing Billy Moore as the only Hog quarterback to be selected as All-American). Both since then have been inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Robbins is still listed as 11th in career pass completions for Razorback quarterbacks and Benton is tied for fourth in season touchdown receptions.
It was Arkansas' first conference title and would be the only one that the Razorbacks would claim during the Thomsen era. Not until the 1947 Cotton Bowl Classic (known as the "Ice Bowl"- see the 5/6/2012 hawg-tales) would Arkansas return to post season play where they would tie LSU 0-0.
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Keep the history of Hog football alive, don't let it disappear. The new e-book available describes the history of the Razorback football program. It tells of the coaches, legends, "Voices of the Razorbacks", traditions, and of course, the memorable games (most of which have not been previously discussed on hawg-tales.com). This is the first e-book telling about the complete Razorback football program that is officially licensed by CLC (Collegiate Licensing Company) and the University of Arkansas. The e-book is now available through Smashwords.com (click to visit the world's largest distributor of e-books), the Apple iStore, Barnes and Nobles (barnesandnoble.com),
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