Arkansas Razorbacks: History Behind the Golden Boot Rivalry


The Arkansas Razorbacks and LSU Tigers are about to meet for the 60th time and for the 22nd consecutive season. The first time LSU and Arkansas met was in 1901 when the Tigers won 15-0. The two teams didn’t become in-conference rivals until 1992, when Arkansas first joined the SEC. In 1996, the first Golden Boot Trophy was awarded to LSU.

Since joining the SEC, Arkansas has played LSU on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which has been slated as the teams’ last game of the season. However, 2014 will mark the first time since the trophy was announced that the Tigers and Razorbacks play each other before Thanksgiving Day. LSU will also head into Fayetteville for the first time since 1992, a series which usually takes place at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock every other year.

Nov 29, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Jonathan Williams (32) fights off LSU Tigers cornerback Jalen Mills (28) in the second half against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Arkansas 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

LSU leads the all-time series 37-20-2 and holds an 11-6 advantage since the Golden Boot started its tradition. LSU is also on a three game winning streak and has won eight of the last eleven against Arkansas.

Although LSU leads almost every category, Arkansas has some of the most significant wins in the rivalry. Here’s a look at some of the most notable games:

The “Ice Bowl” – 1947

How could we not discuss the “Ice Bowl” in a season when the temperatures are supposed to drop below freezing at game time? The Hogs and Tigers played in the ice, sleet, snow, and rain in a 1947 bowl game that ended in a 0-0 tie. The Razorbacks stopped the Tigers inside the 10 yard line on four different occasions before LSU attempted an 18-yard field goal to end the game. A bad snap halted their attempt and ended the game in a tie. This season’s November 15th battle could become known as the 2nd “Ice Bowl.”

“Miracle on Markham” – 2002

With 34 seconds left, trailing 20-14, Arkansas drove 81 yards on just three plays. Quarterback Matt Jones found Richard Smith on a 50 yard pass play down the sideline. After one incompletion, Jones scrambled right and found Decori Birmingham in the back of the end zone to tie the score with 9 seconds remaining. After an excessive celebration penalty moved the kick to a 35 yarder, David Carlton promptly kicked in the game winning extra point to give the unranked Razorbacks a 21-20 victory over the No. 18 ranked LSU Tigers.

Houston Nutt’s final game – 2007

Houston Nutt would go on to resign at Arkansas just a few days after the November 23rd meeting with the No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers. What most people have forgotten is that Arkansas went into Baton Rouge and upset the Tigers 50-48 in the 3rd overtime behind Darren McFadden and the “Wild Hog” formation. McFadden rushed for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns and proved why he was the 2007 Heisman Trophy runner-up. LSU would still go onto to win both the SEC Championship, defeating the Tennessee Volunteers, and the National Championship after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes.

“Miracle on Markham 2” – 2008

Arkansas again ended LSU’s season in disbelief with a 31-30 victory. The Hogs trailed the Tigers 30-14 in the 3rd quarter when Arkansas replaced their starting quarterback Nathan Dick with his older brother Casey. He went onto to throw a game winning touchdown pass to London Crawford in the same corner of the end zone that ended the “Miracle on Markham” six years earlier.

Sugar Bowl implications – 2010

No. 12 Arkansas knocks off No. 5 LSU to earn a BCS berth in the Sugar Bowl. Arkansas won 31-23 behind current NFL players Knile Davis, Ryan Mallet and Cobi Hamilton. Davis rushed for 152 yards, Hamilton caught 3 passes for 164 yards, and Mallett broke the school record for touchdown passes as Arkansas upset the Tigers for the 3rd time in four years.

Arkansas remains the favorite heading into Saturday’s game. It will mark the first time in recent history the Hogs will go into this rivalry game as the favorite, despite a 17 game losing streak in conference play, a losing record on the season, and LSU currently sitting in the top 25 rankings.