OU Historical Timeline

Oklahoma Sooners Historical Timeline

April 22, 1889 – Oklahoma Land Run

November 7, 1895 – First game as Norman Territorial University (12 years prior to statehood) (Lost to Oklahoma City 0 to 64)

October 28, 1896 – First win (Defeated Norman High School 12 to 0)

December 31, 1897 – During OU’s first game against a collegiate opponent a Logan County Sheriff stopped the game, mistakenly believing that a fight had broken out. After becoming aware of his mistake he fired his gun into the air to signal for the game to resume. Whether or not this event is connected to the RUF/NEKS is unclear.

October 12, 1899 – First game/win as Norman Territorial University Rough Riders (Defeated Kingfisher College 39 to 6)

October 24, 1900 – 10th win (Defeated Fort Reno 79 to 0)

December 10, 1903 – 2nd year Head Coach Mark McMahon surpasses former Head Coach Vernon Parrington as the winningest coach in OU history when his Norman Territorial University Rough Riders defeat the Lawton Town Team 27 to 5

November 6, 1904 – First “Bedlam” game between OU and Oklahoma A&M (renamed to Oklahoma State in 1957). Intense wind caused an Oklahoma A&M punt to land in a nearby creek and players from both teams dove in to recover the ball (OU won 75 to 0)

October 9, 1905 – First game/win as Norman Territorial University Boomers (Defeated Central Oklahoma 28 to 0)

November 9, 1906 – 2nd year Head Coach Bennie Owen surpasses former Head Coach Mark McMahon as the winningest coach in OU history when his Norman Territorial University Boomers defeat Central Oklahoma 17 to 0

October 4, 1907 – First game/win as University of Oklahoma Boomers (Defeated Kingfisher 32 to 0)

November 16, 1907 – Oklahoma becomes a state (12 years after football is first played in Oklahoma)

November 12, 1908 – First game/win as University of Oklahoma Sooners (Defeated Epworth College 24 to 0)

Sometime during the 1915 season – The RUF/NEKS were started.

September 25, 1915 – First game with Mex the Dog as the University of Oklahoma mascot (Defeated Kingfisher 67 to 0)

November 20, 1915 – 100th win (Defeated Kansas State 21 to 7)

November 25, 1915 – Won first Conference Championship (Defeated Oklahoma A&M 26 to 7) OU has won 44 Conference Championships to date

October 20, 1923 – First game played at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Defeated Washington, MO 62 to 7)

April 30, 1928 – Mex the Dog dies from old age. He was laid to rest under the north endzone of Memorial Stadium, however the exact location of Mex’s grave is unknown

October 19, 1929 – First OU Vs Texas Game played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas (Lost to Texas 0 to 21)

October 14, 1933 – First victory against Texas at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas (Defeated Texas 9 to 0)

1936 – Oklahoma Tackle J.W. Wheeler was selected in Round 2 of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers becoming the first former OU player drafted into a professional football league (OU has had 378 players drafted to date)

September 25, 1937 – A new radio broadcaster makes his game day debut to become the next “Voice of the Sooners” becoming the commentator for the radio broadcasts of Oklahoma Football Games. 21 year old Walter Cronkite.

October 29, 1938 – 200th win (Defeated Tulsa 28 to 6)

Sometime during the 1941 season – Head coach Dewey Luster coined the term “Big Red” by using it as a nickname for the upper classmen.

October 25, 1941 – OU defeated a top 10 opponent for the first time in program history (Defeated Santa Clara 16-6)

January 1, 1947 – Won first Bowl Game (Defeated North Carolina State 34 to 13 in the Gator Bowl) OU has won 28 Bowl Games to date

October 4, 1947 – Earliest recorded sightings of the famous “Play like a Champion Today” Sign. This event took place 39 years before Notre Dame started using a similar tradition. (Defeated Texas A&M 26 to 14)

1949 – Running track was removed, and the field was lowered by six feet. Over 340,000 cubic feet of dirt was removed from the field

October 7, 1950 – Down by 1 point with 1:46 remaining in the game OU running back Claud Arnold drove the ball 70 yards for the win (Defeated Texas A&M 34 to 28)

December 2, 1950 – First NCAA National Championship Victory (Defeated Oklahoma A&M 41 to 14)

October 11, 1952 – 300th win (Defeated Texas 49 to 20)

1952 – Billy Vessels wins the 18th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy (1st time awarded to a University of Oklahoma Running Back)

October 10, 1953 – First win in the historic 47 game winning streak (Defeated Texas 19 to 14)

January 1, 1956 – Second NCAA National Championship Victory (Defeated Maryland at the Orange Bowl 20 to 6)

December 1, 1956 – Third NCAA National Championship Victory (Defeated Oklahoma A&M 53 to 0)

December 1, 1956 – Historic 1954-1956 Era ends – The 1956 Oklahoma Team is considered by many statisticians as arguably the greatest football team ever conceived. OU averaged scoring 46.6 points per game and allowed an average of only 5.1 points per game. The 10-game season saw OU shutting out their opponents 6 times and scored 50 or more points in 4 games. The 1956 graduating class, that included 4 All-Americans, Jerry Tubbs, Bill Krisher, Tommy McDonald, and Ed Gray left the university with a perfect career record 31-0 and 2 National Championships, having never played in a losing football game.

November 9, 1957 – 47th win in the historic 47 game winning streak (Defeated Missouri 39 to 14)

November 16, 1957 – 47 game winning streak ends (Lost to Notre Dame 0 to 7)

October 22, 1960 – 14th year Head Coach Bud Wilkinson surpasses former Head Coach Bennie Owen as the winningest coach in OU history when his University of Oklahoma Sooners defeat Kansas State 49 to 7

September 26, 1964 – The Sooner Schooner is first used by the RUF/NEKS during a game

October 31, 1964 – 400th win (Defeated Colorado 14 to 11)

1969 – Steve Owens wins the 35th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy (1st time awarded to a University of Oklahoma Fullback)

November 25, 1971 – Game of the Century (Lost to Nebraska 31 to 35)

January 1972 – NCAA allows freshmen to compete in college football games starting with the 1972 season

November 30, 1974 – Fourth NCAA National Championship Victory (Defeated Oklahoma State 44 to 13

November 15, 1975 – OU Running Back Joe Washington runs 75 yards in one play to defeat Missouri. This game is memorable due to the Radio Announcer breaking character to scream “GO Joe GO!” during the broadcast.

January 1, 1976 – Fifth NCAA National Championship Victory (Defeated Michigan at the Orange Bowl 14 to 6)

October 2, 1976 – 500th win (Defeated Iowa State 24 to 10)

November 26, 1976 – The term “Sooner Magic” was first used. OU trailed Nebraska 7 to 17 with 3 minutes remaining in the game (Defeated Nebraska 20 to 17)

September 24, 1977 – OU Kicker Uwe Von Schamann makes a 41 yard field goal as time expired to defeat Ohio State After leading the Ohio State fans in a chant for “Block that kick”

1978 – Billy Sims wins the 44th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy (2nd time awarded to a University of Oklahoma Running Back)

September 13, 1980 – The Sooner Schooner is made the official mascot of the University of Oklahoma (Defeated Kentucky 29 to 7)

October 15, 1983 – Trailing 18-20 OU Coach Barry Switzer calls for an onside kick. Just before the play Switzer calls timeout to change the play. Every player is told the ball will now be kicked deep except for the kicker. The ball hits an Oklahoma State player in the facemask and bounces directly back into the hands of an OU player. During the entirety of OU’s come-from-behind victory the OU band refused to stop playing OU’s fight song “Boomer Sooner” even after numerous threats to be removed from the stadium. After playing the song well over an estimated 300 times, Barry Switzer and the Sooners awarded the band the game ball, and labeled it “The Day The Pride Won” (Defeated Oklahoma State 21 to 20)

January 1, 1985 – The Sooner Schooner Game – While playing Washington in the Orange Bowl Oklahoma received a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty due to the Sooner Schooner getting stuck in the mud

January 1, 1986 – Sixth NCAA National Championship Victory (Defeated Pennsylvania State at the Orange Bowl 25 to 10)

January 1, 1986 – After coaching 154 games Barry Switzer has a combined record of 126-24-4 and 3 National Championships. This is the exact same record that Bud Wilkinson had after coaching 154 games

November 22, 1986 – 600th win (Defeated Nebraska 20 to 17)

October 24, 1987 – First night game played at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Defeated Colorado 24 to 6)

November 7, 1987 – 15th year Head Coach Barry Switzer surpasses former Head Coach Bud Wilkinson as the winningest coach in OU history when his University of Oklahoma Sooners defeat Oklahoma State 29 to 10

November 21, 1987 – Game of the Century II (Defeated Nebraska 17 to 7)

January 1, 1988 – Historic 1985-1987 Era ends – A 3-year stretch where Oklahoma went 33-3, their only 3 losses were to Miami. OU averaged scoring 38.1 points per game and allowed an average of only 7.9 points per game. The 36 game era saw OU shutting out their opponents 9 times and scored 50 or more points in 11 games.

September 17, 1994 – First game played at Owen Field with natural grass since 1969. The decision to switch from artificial turf to natural grass was expedited due to an accident during the previous season involving the Sooner Schooner tipping over during a game against Colorado

October 12, 1996 – First overtime game in all of NCAA football history (Defeated Texas 30 to 27)

August 23, 1997 – First game at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium with permanent television lighting

April 24, 1999 – The Barry Switzer Center was opened

October 7, 2000 – First of three games in what would later be coined by such titles as “Murderer’s Row” and “Red October“. OU defeated #11 Texas, #2 Kansas State, & #1 Nebraska back-to-back-to-back by a combined score of 135 to 59

October 28, 2000 – Game of the New Century (Defeated Nebraska 31 to 14) First Half Highlights | Second Half Highlights

November 11, 2000 – Trailing by 3 late in the 4th quarter Torrance Marshall intercepted a pass for a pick 6 and the win (Defeated Texas A&M 35 to 31)

November 25, 2000 – Won first Division Championship (Defeated Oklahoma State 12 to 7) OU has won 8 Division Championships to date

November 25, 2000 – 700th win (Defeated Oklahoma State 12 to 7)

January 3, 2001 – Seventh NCAA National Championship Victory (Defeated Florida State at the Orange Bowl 13 to 2)

October 6, 2001 – Oklahoma players plant an OU flag on the 50 yard line of the Cotton Bowl after defeating Texas 14 to 3. This event would be repeated against Texas in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, & 2016 and also following Oklahoma’s come-from-behind win against Ohio State in 2017

2003 – Jason White wins the 69th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy (1st time awarded to a University of Oklahoma Quarterback)

October 22, 2005 – OU played their first overtime game at Owen Field. Juaquin Inglesias caught the winning touchdown pass to defeat Baylor 37-30 in overtime number 2.

2008 – Sam Bradford wins the 73rd Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy (2nd time awarded to a University of Oklahoma Quarterback)

January 8, 2008 – Oklahoma completes the highest scoring season in all of college football history. 716 points scored. OU scored 50 or more points in 9 out of 14 games.

September 13, 2008 – Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma Sooners defeat Washington 55 to 14. This win was Stoops 100th win as head coach at Oklahoma. This event makes Oklahoma the only school to have 4 head coaches with at least 100 wins each. (Bennie Owen 122 wins, Bud Wilkinson 145 wins, Barry Switzer 157 wins, & Bob Stoops 100 wins)

April 22, 2010 – 3 former Sooners players (Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, & Trent Williams) are selected #1, #3, & #4 overall in the NFL draft. Gerald McCoy begins a Draft Day tradition when he hugged the NFL Commissioner

September 4, 2010 – 800th win (Defeated Utah State 31 to 24)

November 23, 2013 – 15th year Head Coach Bob Stoops surpasses former Head Coach Barry Switzer as the winningest coach in OU history when his University of Oklahoma Sooners defeat Kansas State 41 to 31

January 2, 2014 – Bob Stoops becomes the first and only coach to win all 4 BCS Bowls and a National Championship. The 2000 National Championship, the 2001 Orange Bowl (Defeated Florida State 13 to 2), the 2003 Rose Bowl (Defeated Washington State 34 to 14), the 2011 Fiesta Bowl (Defeated Connecticut 48 to 20), & the 2014 Sugar Bowl (Defeated Alabama 45 to 31)

November 22, 2014 – True Freshman runningback Samaje Perine breaks the NCAA single-game rushing record by running for 427 yards against Kansas

November 14, 2015 – First of three games in what would later be coined as “Championship November”. OU defeated #12 Baylor, #7 Texas Christian, & #3 Oklahoma State back-to-back-to-back by a combined score of 132 to 52

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