Three Oklahoma Football Wishes for the Holidays


It has been a great  2015 for Oklahoma football, but there’s still work to do before the curtain drops on another year.

We’re well into the holiday bowl season, which means an extra bonus game for those teams fortunate enough to gain one of the 80 postseason invitations extended gifted this college football season. The ultimate prize for all but four schools is get-a-way holiday fun and the pride that goes with culminating ending the 2015 season on a winning note.

For Oklahoma and the three other schools that earned their way into the second College Football Playoff, however, there is something bigger at stake. In addition to getting to play an extra game – and perhaps even two – the Sooners and their fellow Playoff participants are in the final countdown to determine which team is crowned as this season’s national champion.

Nov 14, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard (3) tries to elude Baylor Bears safety Terrell Burt (13) at McLane Stadium. The Sooners defeat the Bears 44-34. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It all seems pretty simple: Win two games and the prize is yours. The reality, though, is that the team that executes the best and makes more plays – and, of course, doesn’t give away the football – is the one most likely to be participating in the victory celebration on the University of Phoenix Stadium field on the night of Jan. 11.

While talent, skill and execution play the biggest part of the winning formula, good old-fashioned lady luck – the element coaches like to refer to as the intersection of preparation and opportunity – plays a role as well.

In the spirit of giving this holiday season, here are three wishes we have for the Sooners as they prepare and countdown toward their Orange Bowl date on New Years Eve with top-ranked and undefeated Clemson:

  • That OU is the aggressor on offense and is able to get off to a fast start behind the power running of a fresh Samaje Perine and the throwing  of AP First Team All-American Baker Mayfield and a swarming, disruptive predator on defense. The Sooners are a perfect 10-0 this season when leading at halftime and 158-10 under Bob Stoops.
  • Oklahoma is a perfect 4-0 thus far in 2015 over teams that beat the Sooners in the 2014 season. A victory over Clemson would complete a clean sweep of all five teams that upended OU in 2014 (Kansas State, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Clemson). Here’s wishing that the Sooners hand Clemson its first loss of 2015 and, in so doing, avenge all five of its losses from a year ago. OU also is 5-0 in 2015 against teams ranked in the top 25 at the time they played.
  • Orange is not a popular color around Sooner Nation, unless it has something to do with the Orange Bowl. Oklahoma is making its 19th postseason appearance in the Orange Bowl, the most of any team. The Sooners’ 12 Orange Bowl wins, including their 2000 national championship, also lead all college teams. Here’s wishing that the national semifinal contest with Clemson a week from now adds lucky number 13 to Oklahoma’s victory mantle.