Oklahoma football: How perfect is an undefeated season?

The last time the Oklahoma football team logged a perfect, undefeated, untied season was in the Sooners’ 2000 national championship season.

Going undefeated in a season is one of the hardest things to do in college football. That is especially true over a 12 or 13-game schedule against highly competitive opponents, which is the case for teams in one of the Power Five conferences.

Among teams that currently make up the Football Bowl Subdivision, only eight teams have ended the season with a perfect record in the last decade. And only six of those undefeated seasons were produced by Power Five teams. In four of those years, no FBS team ended the year undefeated.

Oklahoma’s 14 undefeated seasons in 123 seasons of varsity college football ranks fourth all-time, according to NCAA Division I football records. Only Michigan, Notre Dame and USC have more.

Twelve of the Sooners’ 14 undefeated seasons were perfect seasons (without any tied games).

Four of Oklahoma’s undefeated seasons occurred between 1911 and 1920 under the legendary Bennie Owen, the longest tenured OU football coach with 22 seasons. Several of those, however, were of the six- and eight-game variety.

Bud Wilkinson’s teams in the late 1940s and ’50s also accounted for four undefeated seasons, including three in a row from 1954-56 during Oklahoma’s record-setting 47 game winning streak. Two of those teams (1955 and 1956) were national champions.

OU’s first national championship team, also coached by Wilkinson, was in 1950, the year after the Sooners were 11-0. The 1950 national championship team finished the season with a10-1 record, losing only in the final game of the season, a 13-7 loss to No. 7 Kentucky in the Sugar Bowl.

Barry Switzer coached two undefeated Oklahoma teams. The Sooners were 10-0-1 and 11-0 in back-to-back seasons in 1973-74. The 1974 team finished No. 1 in the Associated Press Top-25 poll and was crowned the national champion. Switzer’s 1975 team was 11-1 and won a second consecutive national title, the second time the Sooners had done that in their history (1955-56 and 1973-74).

Bob Stoops came very close to a second, 13-win perfect season with the 2004 Oklahoma team. The Sooners faced USC in the BCS national championship game in the Orange Bowl that season. OU was a perfect 12-0 entering the game and ranked No, 2 in the country behind USC.

OU suffered one of its worst losses in history in that final game of 2004, losing 55-19 to the Trojans.