FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas football team placed fifth in the final Associated Press and USA Today polls, marking the program’s first top-five finish since 1977.
The Razorbacks, who tied a school record with 11 wins after defeating No. 11 Kansas State in the 76th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, ended the season with a top-five ranking for the fourth time in school history. In 1964, Arkansas earned the program’s highest AP finish of second and in 1965 and 1977 UA ended the season third in the AP poll. The fifth-place final ranking also marks the 14th top-10 finish in school history and first since 1982 when the team was ninth in the final AP poll.
The fifth-place final ranking is the highest in a final poll for a Coach Petrino-led team. While at Louisville, his teams twice finished in the top 10, with a sixth-place finish in 2006 after winning the Orange Bowl and a seventh-place final ranking in 2004 after an 11-1 season that concluded with a Liberty Bowl win over No. 10 Boise State.
Coupled with last season’s 12th-place ranking in the final AP poll, the Razorbacks have finished consecutive seasons ranked for the first time since 1998-99 and placed in the top-12 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1978-79. Arkansas won 21 games in the last two seasons, tying the 1964-65 teams for the most wins over a two-year stretch and won at least 10 games in consecutive seasons for the third time in school history.