This week's poll takes it cue from the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Whereas we looked ahead last week, we are looking back this week to two Arkansas bowl victories (50 percent of our total since joining the SEC, yikes). Yeah, we've not won a lot of bowl games as a league member, sorry, SEC, but we did win for the first time in program history the Liberty Bowl 2010 and the Independence Bowl 2003.
Just mention the Liberty Bowl 2010 and Arkansas fans who were there that frigid night can feel their body temperature drop. I was one of them, and I suffered through the cold weather and a cold Arkansas offense there in Memphis. But nobody was colder than East Carolina's kicker, Ben Hartman, who missed game winner after game winner and left the door open for the game winning 37 yard field goal by Alex Tejada who was just a bit warmer than Hartman. Arkansas won in overtime 20-17.
An Arkansas kicker also played a big role in the 2003 Independence Bowl. Chris Balseiro kicked field goals of 33,28, 25, and 24 yards to help Arkansas put up 27 points to Missouri's fourteen. Cedric Cobbs scored a rushing touchdown and so did Matt Jones. At the time, we couldn't see Missouri's revenge in the 2008 Cotton Bowl coming or that they would eventually join the conference. Who knew? Though I was disappointed that we were not in a bigger bowl after how the season started with wins over Alabama and Texas, I was still happy to see Arkansas win a bowl game after having put up some dud performances in Nashville, Dallas, and Las Vegas in previous years.
My personal answer to my own question below is that my favorite win (love them both though) is the win over Missouri, for it felt like we won that game more than we escaped with a win, as in the Liberty Bowl, and it was satisfying to see a running back legend in Cobbs go out as an MVP in a bowl game. And for a personal reason, it was the last bowl I attended where my whole immediate family was in attendance. So it just does edge the Liberty Bowl in my thinking. How about you?
Have a wonderful Fourth of July! And a Happy 237th to the USA!