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OU Football

Sterling Shepard, Ty Darlington, Zach Sanchez, Bob Stoops, Charles Tapper, Trevor Knight, and Eric Striker walk arm-in-arm to protest campus racism in March 2015.
Thant Aung / The Oklahoma Daily

The University of Oklahoma takes on Clemson University in the Orange Bowl Thursday evening. The rematch of the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl is the first of two national playoff semifinal games on New Year’s Eve.

The Sooners are two wins away from an eighth national championship, and a second for head football coach Bob Stoops. He attributes some of the team's success to an incident off the field before the season even began, when the Sooners were coming off a 40-6 shellacking at the hands of the Tigers.

The statue of Bennie Owen stands in front of athletic dorms on the east side of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, which Owen helped build in the early 1920s.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Before Bud Wilkinson won 47 straight, before Barry Switzer “hung half-a-hundred” on his opponents, and before Bob Stoops restored the shine to the University of Oklahoma’s football program in the early 2000s, there was Bennie Owen.

The diminutive Arkansas City, Kansas native arrived at the University of Oklahoma in 1905 to coach a football team that had only briefly tasted success in its first decade of existence.

University of Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell leads a fourth-quarter drive against Oklahoma State University during the 2013 Bedlam matchup in Stillwater,
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The University of Oklahoma takes on Oklahoma State University Saturday night in Stillwater in a highly-anticipated matchup that has conference and national championship implications. But for two of the three teams still in contention for the Big 12 title, it’s a little bit complicated.

OU is easy. Just win your next game.

The University of Texas marching band performs before the 2010 OU-Texas matchup in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
rooflizard / Flickr

No matter what happens on the gridiron, someone’s getting barbecue. And it’s for a good cause.

Gov. Mary Fallin made her traditional friendly wager with her counterpart south of the Red River over the outcome of Saturday’s annual football matchup in Dallas between the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Texas at Austin.

“I felt a little bad about accepting this bet because UT doesn’t stand a chance,” Fallin said in a statement. “The Sooners are going to bring home a win.”

Since a Snapchat video of University of Oklahoma football player Eric Striker's response to Sigma Alpha Epsilon's racist chant went viral, ESPN interviewed more than 40 players from 15 programs across the country and surveyed another 99 players anonymously about their reaction to Striker and their own encounters with racism and profiling. Many players applauded Striker for speaking out and were eager to share their own opinions and experiences that mirror his at Oklahoma.

University of Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops addresses reporters during s January 6, 2014 press conference.
SoonerSports.tv

University of Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops announced the firings of co-offensive coordinators Jay Norvell and Josh Heupel Tuesday morning after a tumultuous 8-5 season that culminated with a 40-6 loss Dec. 29 to Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

“By no means are they scapegoats. The bottom line is, I feel moving forward we need to go in a different direction,” Stoops said. “I thank them for what they have contributed, their dedication, and hard work through all these years, and I’m sure they’ll continue to have successful coaching careers as they move forward.”

Clemson University football helmet, the Russell Athletic Bowl trophy, and a University of Oklahoma football helmet
Brady Vardeman / The Oklahoma Daily

Championship droughts and multi-loss seasons are not what people have come to expect at Oklahoma under coach Bob Stoops.

Following what at times seemed to be a half-hearted effort by the Sooners in their 40-6 loss to No. 18 Clemson Monday in the Russell Athletic Bowl, he acknowledged that Oklahoma did not live up to that standard against the Tigers.

Oklahoma fell behind 27-0 early and turned the ball over five times on the way to finishing just two points shy of tying its worst bowl loss — a 36-point drubbing at the hands of USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl.

University of Oklahoma freshman running back Samaje Perine set a major college record by running for 427 yards in a driving rainstorm, scoring five touchdowns and leading the No. 23 Sooners over Kansas 44-7 Saturday.

A week after Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon set the mark by rushing for 408 yards against Nebraska, Perine broke it.

The Ray Rice video will affect how colleges handle players who are involved with domestic issues. University of Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione admitted to Sports Illustrated that the school probably would not have admitted star receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was kicked out of Missouri for alleged violence against his girlfriend, if the decision had to be made today.

Madeline Stebbins / KGOU

Upgrades to the University of Oklahoma's stadium are on the agenda when the school's board of regents meets next week.

The proposed renovations to Oklahoma Memorial Stadium are scheduled to be discussed when officials meet in Ardmore beginning Monday.

The regents are also scheduled to review the contracts and pay for the school's athletic department personnel, including football head coach Bob Stoops and his staff.

Robbiewest88 / Wikipedia Commons

Texas and Oklahoma will play annually at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas until 2025.

The schools have agreed to a five-year extension at the historic stadium in the city's Fair Park neighborhood.

The annual "Red River Showdown" draws tens of thousands of fans during the State Fair of Texas, with Sooner red and Longhorn burnt orange split at the 50-yard line.

Allison Meier / Flickr Creative Commons

University of Oklahoma President David Boren says the Board of Regents will likely consider upgrades to OU's stadium when the panel meets next month in Ardmore.

Boren tells The Norman Transcript plans are in the works for major stadium improvements — though he doesn't expect a significant expansion beyond the current seating capacity of 82,112.

Stoops To Go Pro?

Jan 3, 2014
Billy A / Flickr.com

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is the latest college coach to be linked to Cleveland's head coaching vacancy.

Just hours after his Sooners stunned Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, Stoops, a Youngstown, Ohio native, didn't rule out the possibility of jumping to the NFL. On Dan Patrick's national radio show, Stoops said he's not looking to pursue a pro job but "you never know down the road."

Later, Stoops would not discuss rumors tying him to the Browns' job with Oklahoma writers and again said "you never know" when pressed on the subject.

Sooner Sports / soonersports.com

Whatever Bob Stoops may have said about the overall strength of the Southeastern Conference, that apparently doesn't apply when it comes to the challenge he sees before 11th-ranked Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

The Sooners' coach made that clear on the eve of Thursday night's matchup with No. 3 Alabama.

Stoops says Alabama, in his eyes, is "still the best team in the country."

Last spring, Stoops challenged the notion that the SEC — home of the last seven national champions — is the strongest league in the nation.

National Collegiate Athletic Association

The football coach who installed the wishbone at the University of Oklahoma, a former OU quarterback, an Oklahoma State basketball legend and one of America's first great ballerinas were among those with ties to Oklahoma who died during 2013.

Chuck Fairbanks installed the wishbone in 1970 and the offense helped OU to national titles in 1974 and 1975 after Fairbanks left for the NFL. Fairbanks died in April at age 79.

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