On the 2nd of September — 14 days from how — Oklahoma football will enter another new college season, its 123rd in program history, with a new head coach and high hopes for another championship season.
The Sooners are reigning Big 12 champions, with back-to-back titles in each of the past two seasons, and are the preseason pick to win the conference for a third straight season.
But the Oklahoma schedule is perhaps the most difficult of any contending Big 12 team, and the Sooners have at least half of their regular-season games against teams ranked in the top 25 in the country, and four of those contests are away from the friendly confines of Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, where the Sooners are 101-9 over the past 18 seasons.
Throughout its history, however, Oklahoma hasn’t just been good at home, they’ve been better than good on the road as well. In 123 seasons playing varsity football, the Sooners have posted 872 total wins to go with 321 losses and 53 games have ended in ties.
Only three teams in the history of NCAA Division I college football have a better winning percentage than the Sooners, who share the No. 4 spot with the Crimson Tide of Alabama.
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Oklahoma and Alabama have an all-time winning percentage of .721, which trails only Michigan (935-334-36 (.730), No. 2 Notre Dame (896-321-42, .728) and No. 3 Ohio State (886-322-53, .724).
The Sooner also rank No. 3 in the number of national championships, as recognized by the Associated Press. Oklahoma’s seven national championship trails only Alabama’s 10 and Notre Dame with eight national crowns.
The record also shows that Oklahoma football as produced more 10-win seasons than only other Division I (now the Football Bowl Subdivision) teams. The Sooners have won 10 games in 37 seasons, 14 of which came during Bob Stoops’ 18 seasons as the Oklahoma head coach.
The Oklahoma football legacy is as strong as any program in the history of the game, and most of the program’s success has come about as a result of three of the college game’s most successful head coaches: Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer and Stoops.
Oh, and one more thing Oklahoma owns over every other college football program. No other school has four head coaches in its history who have each exceeded 100 career wins. Stoops leads the Sooner quartet with 190 career wins. Switzer is next with 157, followed by Wilkinson with 145 and Bennie Owen, the longest tenured of the four with 22 seasons on the sidelines, with 122. If you add that up, it represents 614 of OU’s 872 all-time wins, or 70 percent.
The 2017 edition of Oklahoma football has a huge legacy to live up to, one of the deepest entrenched in the college game.