Oklahoma Football: 30 Best Games in School History

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Nov 22, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners safety Hatari Byrd (4) tackles Kansas Jayhawks running back Corey Avery (6) during the first half at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Nov. 8, 1975 – Kansas 23, Oklahoma 3

They say even the best of teams is going to have a stinker every now and then. The trouble with college football is that there are only 12 or so games in a season, and a single bad game can be fatal to a team with championship aspirations.

Oklahoma came into its game with unranked Kansas with a perfect 8-0 record and a No. 2 ranking in the national polls. Plus, this game was being played in front of a home Sooner crowd of 70,000-plus.

The Sooners got a first-quarter field goal to take a 3-0 lead, but that would be the only points Oklahoma would muster the entire afternoon. The Sooners were their own worst enemy in the contest, coughing up eight turnovers: four on fumbles to go along with four interceptions.

Meanwhile, the Kansas version of the triple option, led by quarterback Nolan Cromwell, gave OU a taste of its own medicine offensively. The Jayhawks gained 235 yards on the ground and put up 23 points on the scoreboard, which on this day was more than enough to pull off the improbable upset.

You could easily argue that this should be far down the list of “best” games in Sooner football history. The reason I have included it among the “30 best” is because this proved to be one of those “gut check” games that all teams need to experience in the course of saving a season.

Like the Texas game this season (2015), that loss to Kansas in 1975 led to a course correction that resulted in the Sooners running the table in their final three games, including a 14-6 victory over 5th-ranked Michigan in the Orange Bowl that produced a second consecutive national championship and Oklahoma’s fifth in school history.

Also of significance, the loss to Kansas was the first in Barry Switzer’s OU head-coaching career. The Sooners had won 29 consecutive games without a loss since Switzer took over at the beginning of the 1973 season.

Next: Nov. 15, 1975 - Oklahoma 28, Missouri 27