Wally is wrong
Although I share your sentiment, everyone is entitled to their own opinion about things like that.
Wally probably wasn’t watching the game on Dec 6, 1969. After all, Arkansas State’s season was already over.
Wouldn’t he be watching if A State wasn’t playing that day?
For me, the Stoernover was worse than the 69 Shootout.
I was born in 1970. I have no connection to the Hogs of the 60’s other than reading about it.
I was 28 years old when the Stoernover happened…I remember the pain, anguish and utter hopelessness of watching our chance swirl down the toilet.
I was also born in 1970 and agree 98 Tennessee was gut wrenching. Worst Arkansas loss I’ve personally ever watched.
I watched both. 1969 was worse.
In the immediate aftermath of the Tennessee game, fans could still be excited that the Hogs were relevant again. In prior seasons, we had been losing to schools like SMU and Memohis.
The 69 loss was worse. Although the Tenn game might have led to a national championship game, we still had to win at MSU the next week, win again in the SEC title game & finally win the bowl. I don’t mean to make light of the pain of that 98 loss–it’s probably 2nd to me following the 69 game–but those who weren’t around then can’t appreciate all that was on the line & all the hype leading up to it.
Texas was #1 in both polls & we were 2 & 3. Both of us were 9-0 in a 10 game season. The game had been moved to the last game of the year. It was the only game on TV. (Back then there was never more than one game per week on TV). The NFL wasn’t as big then as it is now. The game drew one of the biggest national TV audiences of all time. Reporters from the LA Times (the legendary Jim Murray) and the NY Times (I can’t recall the name of its legendary sports writer right now, but he was there, too.). Billy Graham, the world’s most famous preacher gave the invocation before the game. The President of the U.S. along with both governors, all 4 U.S. Senators & several congressmen were there. (GHW Bush was among them.). Col Sanders & Johnny Cash managed to get tickets. The winner was to get a trophy as the nation’s best team from the President. Had we won, we’d have faced Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl. (Yes, had we lost that, it would’ve taken some shine from our win, but I would’ve liked our chances.)
One thing the two games have in common is that we out-played the other team. Texas didn’t make any half-time adjustments to overcome their bad first half. They were just getting beat on both sides of the ball. Then 2 “Stoernovers” happened in the 4th quarter. James Street, their QB, broke away on a broken play & scored despite at least one glaring clip on our LB, Mike Boschetti, that should have negated the play. The other was a miraculous 4th down pass completion that came down in the hands of their well-covered receiver. They went up 15-14 because they’d gone for 2 on their first TD.
We had one terrible turnover in the 69 game. After UT scored its first TD, There were about 9-10 mins to go in the game. Facing 3rd & goal, Bill Montgomery threw an interception (his first in about 8 games) on a “safe” pass. Had it just fallen incomplete, a chip shot FG from our AA kicker, Bill McClard would have likely sealed the win. But even after Texas scored that last TD somewhere around the 4 minute mark, we still marched down the field–almost within FG range–when Montgomery threw another INT (this one where the DB made a great play on the ball.)
I’m not relying on any recent replays to remind me how it all came down. I was a teenager in the stands. It’s still vivid. Nothing like it has happened since. That includes the 2nd place Tenn game in 98.
It all depends on your age. If you were born after about 1963, you don’t remember or didn’t live through the Texas game. Most, me included, think Arkansas could have won a championship in 1998 without the Tennessee loss.
For a generation of fans that is the most disappointing loss.
I saw both. I agree with Matt; it depends upon your generation. To me, even though I thought we had a chance at Tennessee, after the years we’d been through, it was hard to grasp the national championship hopes. In '69 1vs.2 in our yard seemed like a perfect way to the second title in five years. How would that have changed the future of the program? We’ll never know…
Of course it’s impossible for someone who wasn’t yet born or too young to remember to appreciate the pain of the 69 loss. I don’t expect them to say it was worse than the 98 loss. However, I don’t think it’s generational in the sense that younger people think 98 was worse. They simply don’t have a reference point for a worse one. The only people who can compare two different experiences are those who experienced both.
My essay about the 69 loss was only to let people who weren’t around know why is was worse to us who saw both. One other aspect of the 69 game that made it worse was the demoralizing effect it had on the program & on recruiting. We lost the next game (Sugar Bowl) because our hearts simply weren’t in it. Recruiting that year suffered because the coaches were so down. (I base that on things I’ve been told by players from that era.). Had we won–even if we’d lost the Cotton Bowl to ND–I don’t think we’d have suffered like we did. The program had a hard time rebounding. It came back to do well in the 75 season & to beat UGA in the 76 Cotton Bowl, but we’d lost 2 games that year & weren’t really in the hunt for the national championship. We finished in the top 10, but by our standards of the time, that wasn’t that great. Our last really good year was 77 when we went 11-1 & won the Orange Bowl. A national championship in 69 probably would’ve thrust us into elite status for the next decade. And those things have a way of building further on themselves.
Not even close. The '69 game was far bigger and had far more on the line. You had to have been around I guess. I have been around for both. The '69 game was the biggest football game of the year including Pros. The hype was unreal. As mentioned in thread above, I can go over and over those plays and how they haunt me and many others. We were the better team. The interception in the end zone. He was open and Bill took a little too much off the pass.
The clips that were not called on Street’s run, and it was in front of everybody just as the tackle was about to be made. The 4th and 4. Right in front of me. Stewart still talked about feeling the ball glaze his finger tips. Now I will miss another nights sleep thinking about it.
The TN game was big, but we still had a long, long way to go if we had won. Maybe they could have. Was the President there? Who played the NA. Who gave the invocation? Was it the 100th yr of college football. Was playing ND in their first Bowl appearence on the line (they did not go to Bowls before agreeing to play the winner). No, not even in the same Universe.
I hate Orange - any shade! Always have. Always will.
The Tennessee loss was the worst I’ve been through but I understand the perspective of the 69 shootout.
The turnover by Clint in the 98 Tenn game was not a “fumble!” Clint stumbled and touched the ball to the ground and it slipped out of his hand. It happened so quickly, the referee (standing behind the offense) missed the call. Instant replay today would have reversed the fumble call. Clint touched the field with the ball three times in his career: once in HS, once in college, once in NFL. In the HS and NFL games, the plays were whistled dead when the ball touched the field. It was a terrible play and call in 98. But quit calling it a FUMBLE!
Even though I don’t remember the 1969 game (I was 6, just wasn’t paying attention to sports yet, I went to my first Razorback game the next year and was hooked from then on, but in 1969 I didn’t even know the game was being played), I still think the 1969 game was much worse. It cost of the National Championship. Yes, we could have lost the Bowl game, but the announcement had already been made (and I think it unlikely we lose the Bowl game).
1998, we went on to lose TWO more games, including a mid-level bowl game. If we couldn’t beat Michigan in the bowl game, why do we think we could have beaten Tennessee again and then the national championship game? It is the Michigan game that makes me think we had no shot.
Did the the 1998 game kill me? Yes. It was a total gut shot. I am still not over it. But I don’t think there was a reasonable chance we win the National Championship even if we beat Tennessee that day.
Actually, Brandon Burlsworth tripped Stoerner.
I don’t think it was even close. The 1969 game was the most depressing experience regarding Arkansas football in my lifetime. Tennessee was tough. But there was neither the buildup or the reaction that the '1969 game brought to Arkansas fans.
For anyone who lived through both, I doubt there are many at all who will say anything other than what I just said.
I’ve always thought the Tennessee loss cost Arkansas two games. I don’t think Arkansas would have lost to Mississippi State the following week if the Tennessee game had ended differently. As far as Michigan, that was the defending national champion and had Tom Brady at quarterback.
FYI, it was ruled a fumble. I don’t have a problem calling it that. Understand your thought.
I asked a coach once about a bogus referee call on a penalty. I said it wasn’t a penalty because the call was missed badly by the ref. The coach said, “If there was a flag, then it’s a penalty. The ref might have made a mistake, but when I see a flag then I know it’s a penalty and we are going to lose yards or a play. You may not think it’s a penalty, but if there is a flag, then it’s a penalty.”
I agree completely about MSU. No way we lose that game if we beat UT. But we still would have had to play UT again in the SEC Title game. Maybe UT is the one with a hang over then (like we had at MSU) but that would have still been a tall order.
I still point to the Michigan game. Yes they were the defending national champions, but they lost 3 games that year, were ranked #15, and still beat us by 14 points. I don’t see us beating FSU if we lost to Michigan by 14. Of course we will never know!