Will Miss America Decide the Arkansas-Alabama Game?

Pig Trail Nation
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A story making the rounds here in Northwest Arkansas this week has the Hogs beating Alabama because of a little known historical trend going all the way back to 1964. That year Arkansas beat number one Texas and went on to win a version of the national championship. It was also the year, the story goes, that Miss Arkansas, Donna Axum, was crowned Miss America.

Flash forward to 1981. Arkansas pounded number one Texas 42-11 in one of its most memorable wins ever in Fayetteville. That year Miss Arkansas, Elizabeth Ward, was also Miss America. In 2016 yet another Miss Arkansas has become Miss America. Savvy Shields won the title in mid September and with number one Alabama coming to Fayetteville this Saturday is history set to repeat itself again?

Technically, no. The facts of this story are slightly skewed.

Elizabeth Ward was indeed the reigning Miss America when Arkansas beat Texas in 1981 and there is no question that Savvy Shields will be the current Miss America when the Hogs take on the top ranked Tide on Saturday. But while Donna Axum held the title of Miss America 1964, she actually won her crown on September 9, 1963. Like a new model year in the automobile industry, each Miss America earns the title in September but her reign is attached to the following year.

So Axum was Miss America during the 1963 football season and it was Miss Arizona, Vonda Kay Van Dyke, who was Miss America 1965  the day Arkansas beat top ranked Texas.

A minor detail, right?

Well, if Hog fans want to believe in the repeating history of the Miss Arkansas/Miss America pageant, have at it as far as I’m concerned. However, the game will much more likely be decided on turnovers, penalties and which team can stop the other’s offense. Since Alabama is number one for a reason it’s probably going to take something unusual for the Arkansas to come out on top. Sort of like what happened in 1981. Texas got off the bus that day making mistakes and with a sellout Arkansas crowd going nuts those mistakes ballooned on the Horns.

I’m not suggesting that Arkansas can blow out  Alabama based on self inflicted wounds by the Tide but I would point out that Ole Miss beat Alabama in 2014 and 2015 largely on mistakes by Nick Saban’s normally well disciplined troops. If Arkansas ends Alabama’s nine game winning streak in this series it is probably going to need some help from the visitors. However, if the upset does happen then the repeating history theory might start to become a little more believable to me to the point where I just might start encouraging Razorback fans to root like hell for Miss Arkansas each September in the Miss America pageant.

Either way, as Bret Bielema would put it, Go Hogs!

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