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The three major Arkansas athletic teams, Arkansas football, basketball, and baseball have a combined two national championships all time. On the gridiron, the Razorbacks won it all in 1964 following a Cotton Bowl win over vaunted Nebraska, 10-7. Thirty years later, in the Charlotte Coliseum, Arkansas guard Scotty Thurman hit the most famous shot in Razorback basketball history over Antonio Lang to secure the program’s first ever national championship. On the diamond, Razorback baseball coaches Norm DeBriyn and Dave Van Horn have made the final series but have never won it. Will Arkansas baseball win its first title before Razorback football or basketball win another one? It would seem that way but let’s take a deep dive into which it would be.
Arkansas football would have the most difficult time doing so in the upcoming season with the current format in place. A four-team playoff that only allows up to two teams from the same conference most of the time does not serve the Razorbacks well. However, as the field moves to twelve and if Sam Pittman’s roster depth improves, Arkansas can definitely make it as a three loss team. With that being said, playing in a league with football powers and brands like Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas and Oklahoma coming in the conference, I doubt Sam Pittman will be next to lift a trophy in Fayetteville.
Eric Musselman has Arkansas basketball rolling. Not to the extent that maybe Coach K at Duke or Roy Williams at North Carolina but the way Musselman recruits and brings popularity to the program through social media. His recruitment in the transfer portal combined with recent five star additions make the Razorback basketball program in great shape with three consecutive trips to the Sweet 16 and two Elite 8 appearances in March of 2021 and 2022. However, the Razorbacks have yet to reach college basketball’s final weekend, the Final Four. With the way Musselman’s tenure in Fayetteville is going, he has put himself and his teams in a great spot to make the national championship.
Arkansas baseball fans do not have to hear it again. They are the “Gonzaga” or “Notre Dame” of college baseball just because they have yet to win it all in Omaha. Arkansas made it to the final series in Omaha back in 2018 and were just an out away from winning it all. But, a dropped foul pop up allowed Oregon State to come back and win the whole thing the next day. Razorback baseball coach Dave Van Horn continues to bring in and develop top talent and send it to the MLB. The Razorbacks have made it to Omaha two more times since the foul ball drop but have not been able to make it back to the last series. Arkansas baseball fans have nitpicked many things about why they have not won a title, lack of base hits, pitching depth, and many other things. So, can Arkansas baseball win a national championship? Of course they can, but it must include a little bit of luck.
Because of how difficult it is to get to the College World Series and win it, Arkansas basketball is the closest to winning a national championships. Razorback basketball’s success in the tournament, selling tickets out every season, and notoriety of Coach Musselman gives them the best shot to win a title next.