Jim Engster: Arkansas poised to beat LSU

The 1947 Cotton Bowl game, a 0-0 tie between LSU and Arkansas, is the only scoreless bowl tie in college football history. Rain, sleet, snow, and ice from a winter storm gave the game the nickname "The Ice Bowl."

Times are tough in Fayetteville, Arkansas where Frank Broyles once ruled the college football kingdom. In 1964 when Lyndon Johnson scored a landslide victory in the presidential election and Jim Brown rampaged past Baltimore to give Cleveland its last NFL title, Broyles led an undefeated Arkansas team to the Promised Land with a squad that included Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson and featured an assistant coach named Barry Switzer.

A year later, the Hogs were set to repeat as NCAA champs when LSU coach Charles McClendon posted his greatest victory, a 14-7 Cotton Bowl triumph over the Razorbacks that ended a 22-game winning streak. In 1969, the 9-0 Hogs were nipped by 9-0 Texas 15-14 at Fayetteville on Dec. 6 in what has been characterized as the Game of the 20th Century. The win catapulted the Longhorns of Darrell Royal to a national title as President Richard Nixon witnessed a furious Texas rally from a 14-0 deficit in a chilly corner of the stands at Razorback Stadium.

Broyles won seven Southwest Conference championships in his 19 years at Fayetteville, and as athletic director made the decision to move the U of A to the SEC in 1992. Since then, Arkansas has struggled against better athletes at most schools and has not come close to capturing a league crown in football.

Despite being overmatched, Arkansas has managed to beat LSU ten times in their 28 SEC bouts and has been outpointed in the series by a modest margin, an average of 27.6 to 22.6. Three times, Arkansas has won twice in row while on three occasions, LSU has won four times straight, including the current streak from 2016-19 under former Arkansas assistant strength coach Ed Orgeron.

Arkansas is 3-4 under first-year coach Sam Pittman, a 58-year-old journeyman with 17 moves over a 36-year career. Pittman has his Hogs motivated and playing hard and much better than the 2-10 disasters of the last two seasons.

The pick here is for Arkansas to defeat a vastly more talented LSU team this week. The Razorbacks are not a good team, but neither is LSU as losses to Mississippi State, Missouri and Auburn confirm.

A year ago, LSU went 15-0, conquered the world and beat its conference rival 56-20 at Tiger Stadium. This year reveals the fickle nature of collegiate athletics. The sooner the season ends for LSU, the better.

Paul Hornung, Dead at 84

Two years after his running mate Jim Taylor died in Baton Rouge, fellow Green Bay legend Paul Hornung died in his hometown of Louisville on Friday, Nov. 13. Hornung and Taylor were key players in four NFL title drives for Vince Lombardi’s great teams of the 1960s.

The men teamed as broadcasters on TigerVision, the Bob Brodhead creation that was visionary as the Pro Football Hall of Famers who called LSU games in 1982 for cable subscribers. At the time, Taylor and Hornung were 46. While Jimmy looked like he could still play, his buddy was not a workout guy like his cohort from LSU.

Taylor was the better runner, but Hornung was remarkably versatile. In a 12-game 1960 season, Hornung scored a record 176 points on 15 touchdowns, 15 field goals and 41 extra points. That total would amount to 235 points in today’s 16-game season.

Hornung’s New York Times obit reads: “He pursued a robust night life of women and drink that seemed to have little effect on his on-field performance.”

It took 15 tries before No. 5 was voted into the Hall of Fame. His admission was delayed because of a gambling scandal in which Hornung acknowledged betting on the Packers and was suspended by Commissioner Pete Rozelle for the 1963 season.

“I’d look like an altar boy if I played today,” Hornung observed in his memoir, “Golden Boy.”

“I never beat up a woman, carried a gun or a knife, shot somebody or got arrested for disturbing the peace. I never even experimented with drugs during the season.”

Paul Vernon Hornung finished his career as a New Orleans Saint in the team’s inaugural season, but never played a down for the team. “The Old Man (Lombardi) left me exposed in the expansion draft,” Hornung reflected with some irritation. “He figured it was more humane than simply telling me I was all done.”

Hornung, who dated more than a few starlets attracted to his chiseled face and athletic prowess, did not hesitate to reflect on his full life.

“All I did, really, was seek out fun wherever I could find it,” he said. “Everything was all tied in together—the drinking, the womanizing, the partying, the gambling. And of course, football made it all possible.”

Hornung won the 1956 Heisman Trophy as a quarterback at Notre Dame on a team that was 2-8. He was recruited out of high school by Kentucky Coach Bear Bryant but went to South Bend to please his devout Catholic mother.

The player considered brilliant by his teammates battled dementia in recent years and in 2016 filed suit against Riddell, the supplier of helmets to the NFL. He is the fourth Packer great to die in 2020. Willie Wood, Willie Davis and Herb Adderly died in February, April and October.

Hornung’s wife, Angela, is his only immediate survivor. He had no children and no siblings.

The SEC and the Presidential Election

Without editorial comment, here are numbers comparing the SEC states of Texas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, South Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi with the remainder of the United States in the choice between President-Elect Joseph Biden and President Donald Trump.

Overall national vote excluding third-party candidates: Biden 52 percent, Trump 48 percent

SEC states vote: Trump 55 percent, Biden 45 percent.

39 other states and DC: Biden 55 percent, Trump 45 percent.

Electoral College vote: Biden 306, Trump 232

SEC Electoral College vote: Trump 132, Biden 16

39 other states and DC: Biden 290, Trump 110

Total votes as of Nov. 15, 2020: Biden 78,760,113, Trump 73,125,147

SEC states total vote: Trump 24,455,354, Biden 19.876,469

Total vote in other 39 states and DC: Biden 58,883,644, Trump 48,669,793

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Jim Engster | President, Tiger Rag

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