Oklahoma, a traditional football powerhouse, has been better than ever in the 2000s under Coach Bob Stoops, who is 149-37 in 14 seasons. Stoops’ Sooners have made a bowl every year, helping Oklahoma become the only football team to have appeared in all five BCS bowls so far. 2012 was no exception for OU success, as the Sooners went 10-2 before losing to Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. Quarterback Landry Jones helped the team ranked 5th in the nation in passing yards and 15th in overall offense, throwing for 4,267 yards and 30 touchdowns. The challenge for 2013 comes when you hear that Jones is now on the Pittsburgh Steelers and new quarterback Blake Bell completed all of nine passes last year. Running back Damien Williams (946 yards, 11 touchdowns) returns, and Jalen Saunders (62 receptions, 829 yards) should be the new #1 wide receiver. But only four starters return on what was an average defense last year, and games against Notre Dame and Texas lurk in weeks four and six, respectively, so they better get their act together fairly quickly. OU signed nine four-star recruits, snagging four from the state of Texas including quarterback prospect Cody Thomas. Defensive ends D.J. Ward and Matt Dimon, safety Hatari Byrd, and cornerback L.J. Moore are big pickups for the future of the defense. While Oklahoma has been such a major success over the past 15 years, including a national title in 2000, fans are worried about this period of transition. But with the strongest recruiting class around and the best-equipped program in coaching and facilities, there’s little reason to worry.
The Oklahoma Sooners play in the Big 12 Conference, having claimed 44 conference titles and seven national titles, boasting five Heisman winners, 75 Consensus All-Americans, and 46 bowl appearances. The program is the most successful of the modern era with 567 wins and a .763 winning percentage since 1945. Their traditional crimson and cream color scheme, not unlike Alabama’s, is one of the most iconic uniforms in college sports, and many a future NFL great has worn it, including Roy Williams, Tommie Harris, Adrian Peterson, Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams, Jermaine Gresham, and DeMarco Murray. Oklahoma’s biggest rival is with Texas in the Red River Rivalry, showcasing often the two best teams in the Big 12. They trail in that rivalry 59-43-5, but lead against Oklahoma State 83-17-7, beating them four of the last five years despite OK State being ranked all five years. OU plays football at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, expanded in 2003 to over 81,000. OU is truly one of the best showcases of American college football—get your tickets today from Gold Coast Tickets!