Colleges in Arkansas With Football Teams
College football is a major passion and part of the campus culture in Arkansas, as it is in the rest of the Southeast. The state is home for two Football Bowl Subdivision programs, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and Arkansas State in Jonesboro, and two Football Championship Subdivision programs, the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff and the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. The Razorbacks from the state's flagship school in Fayetteville are the most famous of the four programs, but the other three schools seek to make their mark in their respective conferences. Seven Arkansas schools also play in the NCAA's Division II and III.
1 University of Arkansas Razorbacks
The Razorbacks are easily the most recognizable and prestigious football team in the state. Formerly a power in the defunct Southwest Conference under legendary coach Frank Broyles, the Razorbacks joined the Southeast Conference in 1992. Donald W. Reynolds Memorial Stadium is one of the loudest stadiums in the country. Arkansas' 'woo pig sooie' chant, also known as the Hog Call, is one of the most famous crowd chants in college football. Their most important regular season trophy game is the Golden Boot against SEC power LSU, and the Razorbacks also maintain an occasional rivalry with Tennessee.
2 Arkansas State Red Wolves
Although not as well known or prestigious as their Fayetteville cousins, Arkansas State has made a significant mark on the college football landscape over the past three years. The Red Wolves have won or shared three consecutive Sun Belt Conference titles from 2011 to 2013. Their coaching staff is often raided by larger football schools. Three recent head coaches, Hugh Freeze, Gus Malzahn and Bryan Harsin were hired away by more prestigious programs. Freeze became the coach at Ole Miss in 2012; Malzahn famously took over Auburn in 2013 and took that team to an SEC title, and Harsin became head coach at Boise State.
3 University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lions
The UAPB Lions represent Arkansas in the Southwest Athletic Conference (SWAC) and is a historically black institution. The Lions success includes a SWAC championship in 2012. Their band, the Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South, is one of the most prestigious in the country and marched at President Obama's first inauguration. UAPB's most famous football alumnus is former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end L.C. Greenwood, who was an integral part of the famous Steel Curtain defense that contributed to four Super Bowl titles in six seasons in the 1970s.
4 University of Central Arkansas Bears
The UCA Bears are one of the stronger teams in the Southland Conference. Most famous for being NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen's alma mater, the Bears have also made their mark on the football field. They are a recent arrival to the FCS, having spent most of their history in the NAIA and Division II. The Bears last made the FCS playoffs in 2012 and have won 2 Southland championships since moving up from Division II. UCA's most famous football alumni is Monte Coleman, who played 16 years for the Washington Redskins and won three Super Bowls in Washington.
5 Division II and III Schools
Arkansas is also home to six Division II schools and one Division III school. Arkansas Tech, Arkansas-Monticello, Harding, Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist and Southern Arkansas give the state a very strong Division II presence. All six schools play in the D-II Great American Conference. Hendrix College, located in Conway, is the state's lone Division III school. Hendrix discontinued their football program in 1960, but brought it back in 2013.