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The Oklahoma Sooners football program is the college football team representing the University of Oklahoma (also known as Oklahoma or OU). The team is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (formerly Division I-A) Big 12 Conference. The program began in 1895 and is one of the most successful programs since 1945 with the most wins (606) and most hitting streak (.762).
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And Heisman Trophy winners. Additionally, 23 members of the school (five coaches and 18 players) have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
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And holds the record for the longest winning streak in Division I history with 47 victories. Oklahoma is also the only program with four coaches with 100+ wins. On September 28, 2019, they defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders to become the first NCAA FBS team to win 900 games.
The Lightning play their home games at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Brett Wybles has been the head coach since 2022.
On July 26, 2021, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas expressed interest in joining the Southeastern Conference (SEC), indicating that they do not want to renew their media contracts with the Big 12 Conference. Conference ending after the 2024-25 season. However, Oklahoma and Texas could join the SEC through the 2022 season and would have to pay each school about $80 million to break their contracts with the Big 12 Conference before their contracts expire.
It is recommended that this section be split into another article titled “Oklahoma Sooners Football History”. (Talk) (January 2019)
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Football in Oklahoma City began in September 1895 – 12 years before statehood and one year after the first organized football game in Oklahoma City.
The team was organized by John A. Harts of Winfield, Kansas, who played in his home state.
In that first “season,” a 34-0 team went 0-1 against an Oklahoma City team (the first time the Sooners failed to play).
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The first game was played on a low pitch northwest of Holmberg Hall.
Several members of the Oklahoma team were injured, including Coach Harts; Before the game, Oklahoma took members from the opposing team to have a full lineup. Later that year, the Harts became prospectors in Oklahoma.
After playing two games in 1896, the team got its first “real” coach, when Vernon Louis Parrington, a new professor of modern languages, was named head coach.
Parrington played football at Harvard and had more exposure to East Coast football. During his four years as head coach (1897–1900), Parrington’s teams had nine wins, two wins and one draw.
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After the 1900 season, football began to interfere with Parrington’s teaching, his true passion. He soon resigned as head coach and won the 1928 Pulitzer Prize in history at the University of Washington.
The Lightning had three more coaches over the next four seasons, leading Fred Roberts to a 3-2 season in 1901. Mark McMahon posted an 11-7-3 record in two seasons as coach in 1902 and 1903. .
The highlight of those four years came in 1904 in the first game against Oklahoma State rival Oklahoma A&M.
Oklahoma beat the Oklahoma Aggies 75-0, but there was one memorable takeaway from that game. The rivalry between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University in Bedlam was born that day.
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After a few years of football, the program got serious and began looking for a permanent head coach. They found Bni Ov,
Hunt’s former team beat Oklahoma twice in 1903 and 1904, so he showed his ability early. Hunt’s first two years at Oklahoma were in Norman and Arkansas City because Oklahoma didn’t have the big budget to keep him year-round.
The first years of the game’s release were difficult due to budget issues. Due to tight travel budgets, teams were forced to play three games in one tour.
For example, in 1905, his team played three teams in five days in three cities in Kansas. This pattern continued in 1909, with three games in six days at Missouri and Texas.
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Hunt’s first dominant team came in 1908, when they went 8-1-1, losing only to a strong Kansas team.
On the other hand, the 1911 team had several smaller and faster players who would go straight to fullback.
1920 marked the first season of the mighty Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association after three seasons in the Southwest Conference, of which Oklahoma State was a founding member.
In 1951, the inaugural year of the College Football Hall of Fame, he was the first inductee from Oklahoma City.
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Lindsay’s 1929 Sooners beat Nebraska 20-7 – Nebraska’s worst loss to an opponent in 20 years.
In 1931, Oklahoma became the first Big Six program to play Hawaii in Honolulu. Oklahoma won 7-0.
This game is the first time USA Central University has been invited to play in the islands.
After being hired, Hardaj focused on speed by making new lightweight clothing and mowing the hunting grounds.
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During his tenure at OU, Hardaj was stricken with an illness caused by quickly swallowing a poisoned pill he believed to be a headache pill.
After starting the 1932 campaign 3-0, the Chargers struggled after Bill Panze suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Hardage was fired as the Sooners’ head coach after the 1934 season. His final record at OU was 11–12–4.
The next head coach, Lawrence “Biff” Jones, went 9-6-3 in two seasons.
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But he is best known for managing the administration, finances and methods of the athletic department. During his tenure, the entire football program took the necessary steps to achieve the success it has today.
The dust storms were so thick that they covered the Sun and the players were covered in dust from training.
As Oklahoma’s 10th football coach, Stidham holds the record. He won the 750 at the Red River Show.
In 1938, Stidham led the Sooners to an undefeated streak and their first Orange Bowl, losing to Tennessee.
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Following Luster’s resignation, the OU Board of Regents interviewed several candidates for the head football coaching position, including North Carolina native Jim Tatum.
The board was so impressed with Wilkinson that they considered hiring him from Tatum as head coach. However, they realized that hiring Wilkinson was unethical.
On D, they decided to hire Tatum and his assistant over several coaches, including Paul “The Bear” Bryant.
And shared the conference title with Kansas for the second year in a row. LSU lost 35-0 in the 1949 Sugar Bowl.
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However, the game is best known for former LSU player Piggy Barnes’ “sneak peek” at the Sooners practice.
Despite going undefeated and winning a bowl game, the Sooners lost to Notre Dame of the Irish for the national championship despite not playing in a bowl game.
The following year, Wilkinson led the Eagles to their first national championship, but lost to Bear Bryant’s Ktucky in the Sugar Bowl.
The loss was their first since 1948 at Santa Clara, where they lost 31 games in a season.
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In 1951, OU President George Lynn Cross told the Oklahoma Legislature that he wanted to “build a university that the football team could be proud of.”
In 1952, local player Billy Wessels of Cleveland, Oklahoma won the first Heisman Trophy.
The Sparks would not lose or tie another game until a loss to Notre Dame in November 1957, a streak that lasted more than three years.
Additionally, the Lightning won 14 conference titles from 1946 to 1959, one under Jim Tatum and 13 under Wilkinson.
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The Lightning also went undefeated in conference play from November 23, 1946 to October 31, 1959. There were only two links in his post.
Wilkinson’s best teams came during his early years of service. At that time,
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