One thing that Oklahoma Sooners always complained about when I was at the university was that teams like the Kansas State Wildcats would schedule games against the most pathetic football teams in the nation and then coast through their non-conference schedule like a world beater. Bob Stoops, Joe Castiglione and the Oklahoma Sooners have never believed that was the right way to play football.
Since Stoops has been in Norman, OU has played non-conference opponents like almost no other school in the nation. They include:
- Florida State Seminoles (2010, 2011)
- TCU Horned Frogs (pre-Big 12, 2005, 2008)
- Miami Hurricanes (2007, 2009)
- Washington Huskies (2006, 2008)
- Cincinnati Bearcats (2008, 2010)
- Oregon Ducks (2004, 2006)
- UCLA Bruins (2003, 2005)
- Alabama Crimson Tide (2002, 2003)
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1999, 2012, 2013)
Those are some serious schools. Of course, Alabama was nowhere near as good as they are now when OU beat them in back-to-back seasons. But, they were still an SEC powerhouse and a historically powerful team.
The Sooners also aren’t lessening their load as the College Football Playoffs start next year, as Coach Bob Stoops still believes that Strength of Schedule matters. OU has games upcoming with the Tennessee Volunteers (14, 15), Ohio State Buckeyes 16, 17), LSU Tigers (18, 19) and Nebraska Cornhuskers (21, 22).
That is just the Oklahoma Sooners’ way of playing football, and this weekend’s Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame is no different.
“We have always strived to feature marquee non-conference opponents on the Oklahoma schedule,” said OU athletic director Joe Castiglione. “Our longtime philosophy of scheduling high-caliber FBS opponents becomes even more important in 2014 with strength of schedule factoring into the College Football Playoff equation. Without question, the opportunity to schedule a two-game, home-and-home series with a program with the tradition of Tennessee is a win-win for both programs and their passionate fan bases.”
Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame kicks off at 2:30 p.m. CST.