Greatest Games in Oklahoma Football: First Round

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Former head coach Barry Switzer and current head coach Bob Stoops (left) watch before the University of Oklahoma football team scrimages at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, April 5, 2008 BY STEVE SISNEY

The University of Oklahoma is littered with great players, teams, and coaches. This is what has put Oklahoma on the map as one of the blue-blood programs in College Football. The Sooners have won National Championships in the 50’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 00’s. However, it can be subjective to determine which games are indeed the best. So, we brought it to you, to help determine the greatest games in Oklahoma football.

The Setup

This is a bracket-style tournament in which 64 games were selected from the 1950’s to just last year that featured some of the best moments in the history of the program. Those games were randomly selected against one another and were put to a popular to vote to determine the victor. Instead of typical geographic regions, legendary Sooner coaches were placed as the name of those regions. For this reason, the regions do not necessarily mean that game was played under that coaches time. The regions were generated at random. The regions are as follows: Bob Stoops Region, Barry Switzer Region, Bud Wilkinson Region, and the Bennie Owen Region. Without wasting any more time, let’s get going with the Stoops and Switzer region breakdown and results.

The Bob Stoops Region

Game #1: 2010 Oklahoma 47 Oklahoma State 41 vs 2004 Oklahoma 12 Texas 0.

Behind 468 yards through the air by Landry Jones, Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma State to gain a berth in the Big 12 championship game against Nebraska.

Meanwhile, the annual Red River Rivalry in 2004 announced Adrian Peterson on the national scene. Peterson ran for 225 yards and the Sooner defense shut out Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns.

Winner: Peterson paves the way for a 2004 Oklahoma 12 Texas 0 win by a score of 387-127.

Game #2: 1971 Nebraska 35 Oklahoma 31 vs 2001 Oklahoma 38 Kansas State 37.

This game was back and forth the entire day, but culminated in a late Nebraska touchdown by Jeff Kinney was less than a minute and a half left to secure the Cornhusker victory.

Nate Hybl tossed two long touchdown passes to Antwon Savage in 2001 as the Sooners narrowly defeated Kansas State 38-37.

Winner: 2001 Oklahoma 38 Kansas State 37 wins handily 300-122.

Game #3: 2015 Oklahoma 30 TCU 29 vs 1990 Oklahoma 45 Nebraska 10.

With Baker Mayfield out in the 2nd half with a concussion, the nerves were in full force. A late stop by Steven Parker helped seal a critical 30-29 victory for the Sooners.

The only victory over the Cornhuskers for Gary Gibbs happened in 1990. The Sooners knocked out the Nebraska starting quarterback Mickey Joseph early in the first quarter and cruised to the five touchdown win.

Winner: Sooner magic prevails as 2015 Oklahoma 30 TCU 29 wins by a count of 330-185.

Game #4: 1963 Oklahoma 17 USC 12 vs 1979 Oklahoma 17 Nebraska 14.

This was the first time Oklahoma would play USC and also the first ranked opponent the Sooners had faced in 10 years. Joe Don Looney led the Sooner charge with 62 yards on 12 carries in the five-point Sooner win.

In what Barry Switzer, at the time, called the greatest game one of his coached teams had ever played the Sooners defeated Nebraska by three. Billy Sims ran for 247 yards in the win.

Winner: In dominating fashion, 1979 Oklahoma 17 Nebraska 14 takes the win 295-17.

Game #5: 1977 Oklahoma 29 Ohio State 28 vs 2015 Oklahoma 31 Tennessee 24.

Without the injuries to Thomas Lott and Billy Sims, Switzer insists that Oklahoma would have hung half a hundred on the Buckeyes. However, after a strong start, Oklahoma held on to a 29-28 win after one of the most iconic plays in Sooner history.

Baker Mayfield officially made a new for himself as a Sooner leader in Knoxville in 2015. Trailing 17-3 late in the third quarter mounted a comeback and Oklahoma defeated Tennessee 31-24 in double overtime.

Winner: In one of the closest first-round matchups, 1977 Oklahoma 29 Ohio State 28 wins 365-269.

Game #6: 2011 Oklahoma 55 Texas 17 vs 1975 Oklahoma 28 Missouri 17.

Oklahoma dominated the Red River Rivalry from beginning to end in 2011. An opportunistic defense sparked the 38-point victory.

Back in the 70’s, this game is coined as the “Joe, Go Joe” game. Joe Washington helped spark a late comeback to give Oklahoma a 28-27 win.

Winner: Again, the rivalry factor is too much here as the 2011 Sooner victory over Texas wins 424-118.

Game #7: 1996 Oklahoma 30 Texas 27 vs 1978 Oklahoma 31 Nebraska 24.

The 1990’s were a difficult period in the history of Sooner football. However, the Red-River Shootout in 1996 saved some heartache as James Allen ran in a short score to give Oklahoma a three-point win.

Comparatively, 1978 was one of the more talented Sooner teams. Seeking redemption in an earlier loss to Nebraska, Oklahoma dominated the Orange Bowl in a 31-24 win.

Winner: Despite a close matchup, the 1978 revenge game reigns supreme 210-117.

Game #8: 1953 Oklahoma 19 Texas 14 vs 1993 Oklahoma 38 Texas 17.

Oklahoma was looking to get back in the spotlight after a season-opening loss to Notre Dame. Tom Carrol was the hero in intercepting a pass and scoring a touchdown on a 48-yard run, leading the Sooners to a 19-14 victory.

Gary Gibbs was 0-3 against the Longhorns up until this day. Oklahoma used a prolific rushing attack to the tune of 275 yards in the comfortable 21 point victory.

Winner: Cale Gundy‘s 1993 victory over Texas wins in comfortable fashion, 189-51.

The Barry Switzer Region

Game #1: 1975 Oklahoma 14 Michigan 6 vs 1972 Oklahoma 17 Nebraska 14.

Looking to rebound from an inexplicable loss to Kansas, Oklahoma had a chance to win the 1975 National Championship. Using a suffocating defense, the Sooners defeated Michigan 14-6.

In this case, Oklahoma had a hill to climb against the back to back national champion Cornhuskers. However, Oklahoma came back from an early 14 point deficit to win 17-14.

Winner: The victory over Nebraska makes it over the top in this 250-146 win.

Game #2: 2000 Oklahoma 31 Nebraska 14 vs 1964 Oklahoma 17 Nebraska 7.

Sooner fans were thirsty for national prominence after a decade of mediocrity. Oklahoma announced it was back on top of the football world after a 31-14 win against Nebraska.

As an illustration that good things can happen in a terrible season, Oklahoma finished with a 6-4-1 record in 1964. But, one of those victories happened against the fourth-ranked Cornhuskers as Oklahoma won 17-7.

Winner: The resurgent 2000 Sooners and the program revitalizing win against Nebraska dismantles the 1964 win by a count of 401-18.

Game #3: 2001 Oklahoma 14 Texas 3 vs 1994 Oklahoma 30 Syracuse 29.

The birth of Superman. In what was a defensive struggle, Roy Williams gave Sooners fans a play that is still talked about 17 years later to give Oklahoma a 14-3 win over Texas.

A season that started off with some promise ended very poorly in a 6-6 record. Although that may be true, after nearly squandering a 24 point lead the Sooners defeated Syracuse in thrilling fashion.

Winner: Superman saves the day again as the 2001 win stands tall by the score of 406-51.

Game #4: 2013 Oklahoma 33 Oklahoma State 24 vs 1982 Oklahoma 28 Texas 22.

All things considered, this was really supposed to be Oklahoma State’s year. However, that would not come to fruition as Blake Bell engineered a late comeback in a Sooner victory.

Even though Oklahoma only completed one pass on the day, that would be enough. An unstoppable rushing attack was the driving factor in the upset win as unranked Oklahoma defeated 13th ranked Texas 28-22.

Winner: The Bell Tolls in the greater of the two upsets in winning this matchup 240-82.

Game #5: 1980 Oklahoma 18 Florida State 17 vs 1984 Oklahoma 17 Nebraska 7.

In spite of the two losses in 1980, Oklahoma was in a top-five matchup in the Orange Bowl. J.C. Watts etched his mark in Sooner history with a late scoring drive and a two-point conversion for the one-point victory.

Similarly, with many battles in Lincoln in the 80’s, Oklahoma came in as an underdog. Nebraska was ranked number one and came in with a 27-game winning streak. But, that streak would not go to 28 as the Sooners upset Nebraska 17-7.

Winner: In the tightest matchup to date, Watts and company come up with just enough to win 156-148.

Game #6: 2003 Oklahoma 20 Alabama 13 vs 1986 Oklahoma 20 Nebraska 17.

Different from the 2001 and 2002 season, Oklahoma had a dynamic offense in 2003. Anchored by a late touchdown pass from Jason White, the Sooners win over the Alabama Crimson Tide 20-13.

On the other hand, Sooner Magic may have played a much bigger role in 1986 as Oklahoma defeated Nebraska. Trailing 17-7, Oklahoma rallied and was aided by a miraculous catch by Keith Jackson to win 20-17.

Winner: Sooner Magic is the winner here by a score of 338-308.

Game #7: 2012 Oklahoma 51 Oklahoma State 48 vs 1974 Oklahoma 16 Texas 13.

Seeing that there were 99 points scored in this game, it’s only fitting this went into overtime. On the heels of 500 yards passing by Landry Jones, the Sooners took the Bedlam battle by three.

Although, Oklahoma was a dominant football team in 1974 they would get their stiffest challenge from Texas. Steve Davis and Joe Washington paced the Sooners in the three-point victory which was much tougher than the experts thought.

Landry Jones and the Sooner heroics get the nod in a 287-120 victory.

Game #8: 1991 Oklahoma 48 Virginia 14 vs 2000 Oklahoma 13 Florida State 2.

For this reason, Sooner fans were wondering where this team was all year long. In an impressive offensive performance, Oklahoma totaled 618 yards in total offense in the five-touchdown win.

Comparatively, in 2000, this was the Sooner team that had been seen all year. The defensive unit was improving all year but not more apparent than in the smothering 13-2 victory over Florida State to secure the 7th National Championship.

Winner: This championship is special to Sooners all over the globe and that was apparent in a 380-10 drubbing in this contest.

 

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