The Arkansas Industrial Cardinals football team under B. N. Wilson represented the Arkansas Industrial University (renamed the University of Arkansas in 1899) during the 1897 and 1898 college football seasons.
B. N. Wilson was the football coach for the Arkansas Industrial Cardinals football team from 1897 to 1898. Wilson received a bachelor of science degree from Georgia School of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 1896 and joined the faculty at Arkansas Industrial as an instructor of mechanical engineering. He served as the football team's trainer in the fall of 1896 and took over as the coach in 1897. He was the football coach for two years and remained at the school as an instructor and then professor until 1923.
During the 1897 season, the Cardinals played only two intercollegiate football games. In the first game, the team played Drury College to a 6–6 tie. On November 20, 1897, the team defeated Ouachita College, for the first victory against another college football team in program history.
In 1898, the Cardinals played two intercollegiate football games, both against Drury College. Arkansas Industrial won both games, the first by a 17–0 score and the second by a 12–6 score.
During Wilson's two-year tenure as football coach, the Cardinals played four intercollegiate football games and compiled a 3–0–1 record in those games. During Wilson's tenure, the Cardinals also played two games against a high school team from Fort Smith, Arkansas, located approximately 50 miles south of the Arkansas Industrial campus. The team compiled a 1–1 record in its games against the Fort Smith High School.
Arkansas opened its 1897 season with its sixth game in four years against the team from Fort Smith High School. The Cardinals next competed in their third intercollegiate game, playing Drury College to a 6–6 tie. On November 20, 1897, Arkansas won its first ever intercollegiate football game against Ouachita College, a liberal arts college in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
The captains of the 1897 team were H. Y. Fishback and E. G. Martin. John C. Futrall was the "manager", and B. N. Wilson was the coach.
During the 1898 season, the team played two intercollegiate football games, both against Drury College. Arkansas won both games, the first by a 17–0 score and the second by a 12–6 score. The Cardinals concluded their season with a 36–8 loss against Fort Scott High School.