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The Arkansas Razorbacks football team represents the University of Arkansas in the sport of American football. The Razorbacks compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The program has 13 conference championships, 45 All-Americans, and a record of 676–451–40. The Razorbacks are the 23rd-most successful team in college football history by number of wins. Home games are played at locations near the two largest campuses of the University of Arkansas System: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The first University of Arkansas football team was formed in 1894 and coached by John Futrall, who was a Latin professor at the University. That team played three games: two against Fort Smith High School and one against Texas. Before the 1909 season, the teams was called the Arkansas Cardinals and a bird was the school's mascot. The name and mascot changed following the 1909 season when the football team, coached by Hugo Bezdek, finished 7–0.
Arkansas prevailed over powerhouses Oklahoma, LSU and Washington of St. Louis in 1909, and was declared unofficial champions of the South and Southwest. It was with the help of Steve Creekmore that this was accomplished. Creekmore became perhaps the first Razorback star, a quarterback from Van Buren who initially played only intramurals. Bezdek used Creekmore to install a very early edition of the hurry-up offense, as the team never huddled and chased the ball after every play. Creekmore was also known for "fast and slippery running, blocking, and passing" and could also return punts and tackle well.
There are differing stories about the origins of 'Razorbacks', however. During this season Bezdek proclaimed his team played "like a wild band of razorback hogs" and the phrase was so popular that the Cardinals changed their name for the 1910 season. An account from Phil Huntley, a member of the 1909 team, says that when the team got off the train in Dallas someone yelled "here come the hogs." Bezdek then said, "Boys, I like that. We're the Razorbacks from now on." These accounts could both be true. With the new name, the Hogs defeated LSU 51-0 and gave Texas A&M their only loss in 1910, but fell short of another perfect season, losing 5-0 to Kansas State.
In 1913, Arkansas quarterback J. L. Carter and the Razorbacks lost to Ole Miss, and took a fateful train to Arkadelphia to play Ouachita Baptist. While Carter was eating, he was invited to a meeting of Ouachita boosters. He transferred (which took place immediately, this being permissible at the time) and defeated Arkansas 15-9 in 1914.
The Hogs would be contacted by L. Theo Bellmont in 1913 in his attempt to create an intercollegiate conference to regulate use of ringers. Hugo Bezdek, since replaced by E. T. Pickering, had recommended the Hogs to join a conference before he left to coach at Oregon.