If college football conferences were judged on the basis of high-scoring , powerhouse offensive play, the Big 12 would be a clear-cut No. 1 and Oklahoma football would be the flag bearer.
But because most college football experts and fans outside of Big 12 country perceive the Big 12 as the conference that is all about offense at the expense of defense, the league rates only above the Pac-12 among the five major conferences in most power indexes.
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is widely viewed as the best football conference, top to bottom. Six SEC teams finished in the final Associated Press Top 25 for 2018. That was twice as many as there were out of the Big 12, led by Oklahoma at No. 4.
Former OU head coach Bob Stoops, for one, has taken exception to that thinking, stating that although the teams at the top of the SEC standings may have better records and reputations than those at the top of the Big 12, the same is not true when you look at all the teams in both conferences and not just the ones at the top.
Stoops, who was the defensive coordinator at Florida, in the SEC, for five seasons before coming to Oklahoma, doesn’t just talk the talk in questioning all the hype about how strong the SEC is, he also walks the talk. Stoops was 7-4 against SEC teams as the Sooner head coach.
Oklahoma has also fared extremely well against SEC teams historically. The Sooners own a .685 winning percentage (109-48-8) against teams from the SEC. Most of those matchups, however, were against former Big 12 teams Missouri and Texas A&M. OU is 67-24-5 against Missouri all-time, and 19-12 versus A&M.
Against the difficult SEC West Division, where Alabama and LSU reside, the Sooners are 35-20-2 all-time. And if you exclude the19 wins over Texas A&M, OU is 14-8 against teams from the SEC West. The only team in that division against whom the Sooners have a losing record is Mississippi, and that’s only because Oklahoma lost the one game played between those two teams, 27-25 in the 1999 Independence Bowl.
In has been a different story, however, in the postseason. SEC teams own a 9-6-1 advantage over Oklahoma in bowl games, including a couple of wins over the Sooners in the BCS National Championship.
OU also has a winning record against the Big Ten (61-45-3, .558) and the Pac-12 (66-32-3, .650).
Barry Switzer lost just once in five games to opponents from the SEC. Bud Wilkinson, whose Sooner teams never lost a game between early in the 1953 season to late in 1957, was 0-2 against SEC teams.
It should come as no surprise, given their 12 Big 12 championships in 23 seasons, that Oklahoma has dominated the Big 12 in football. After goint a combined 19-27 in the first four seasons of the Big 12, the Sooners have gone 113-20 in the 19 seasons since, a winning percentage of .850.
Texas is the only Big 12 team that owns a winning record against Oklahoma in the all-time series (62-47-5). The Sooners also have winning records against Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado and Texas A&M, all of whom left the Big 12 in the 2010-11 time frame to become affiliated with other major conferences.
Historical information contained in this article was obtained from the 2018 Oklahoma Football Media Guide.