Oklahoma football: Best of Stoops’ Sooners vs. Lincoln Riley’s top team

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 14: Head coach Lincoln Riley of the Oklahoma Sooners wears the Golden Hat as he poses in a team photo after the 29-24 win over the Texas Longhorns at Cotton Bowl on October 14, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard W. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 14: Head coach Lincoln Riley of the Oklahoma Sooners wears the Golden Hat as he poses in a team photo after the 29-24 win over the Texas Longhorns at Cotton Bowl on October 14, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard W. Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Last week we had some fun filling the void in live sports events resulting from the coronavirus pandemic with a fantasy Oklahoma football simulation pitting the best eight teams of the Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley coaching eras against each other.

We set up an eight-team fictional playoff bracket and, with the help of the sports simulation website WhatIfSports.com, we took the teams through a quarterfinal round, a semifinal round and a one-game championship, with Sam Bradford and the 2008 Sooners coming out on top.

We had so much fun running the simulation and reporting on the results of each playoff game right on through to the final showdown between Baker Mayfield and the 2015 Oklahoma team, the Cinderellas of the seven-game tournament, and the 2008 OU team, we wanted to do it again, but with just two great OU teams and under a different format.

With apologies to the 2000 Oklahoma national championship team, it is our opinion that the 2008 team that at the time set an NCAA record for points scored in a season, was arguably the most explosive of all the Sooner teams that played for Stoops. Similarly, the 2017 Oklahoma team that was piloted by quarterback Mayfield and was the first of Riley’s three Sooner teams was the best that the current OU head coach has put on the field so far.

We wanted to see which of those two great OU teams of the new millenium would prevail — not in a one-game, winner-take-all championship, but instead in a Major League Baseball-like seven-game championship series.

The 2008 team will be the home team for games one and two; The 2017 Sooners will be the home team for games three, four and, if necessary, five. If a sixth or seventh game is necessary, the favorable home-team advantage will shift back to the 2008 Sooners.

Sit back and enjoy the simulation and the game coverage that follows:

Game 1 — 2017 Lincoln Riley’s Boomers vs. 2008 Bob Stoops’ Sooners

Lincoln Riley’s 2017 Boomers jumped out to a 14-0 lead after one quarter and extended the margin to 21-0 on a Trey Sermon six-yard touchdown run early in the second before Bob Stoops’ 2008 Sooners caught fire, scoring 38 of the next 41 points on the way to a 38-26 victory.

Sam Bradford completed 28 of 33 passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns, and Chris Brown led all rushers with 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the 2008 team. Jermaine Gresham and Juaquin Iglesias both had 103 receiving yards. Gresham’s 21-yard touchdown reception got the 2008 team on the board for the first time six minutes into the second quarter.

Baker Mayfield also had a good passing game, completing 27 of 37 for 396 yards and two touchdowns. Rodney Anderson had 91 yards on the ground for the 2017 team, and 10 different receivers caught passes from Mayfield, with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Mykel Jones each hauling in four for 86 and 71 yards, respectively.

Bob Stoops’ 2008 Sooners 38, Lincoln Riley’s 2017 Boomers 26

(The 2008 Sooners are up 1-0 in the series)

Game 2 — Lincoln Riley’s 2017 Boomers vs. Bob Stoops’ 2008 Sooners

The first score in Game 2 of this fantasy championship series didn’t come until nearly seven minutes had passed in the opening quarter, but the offensive floodgates opened wide after that, and after 60 minutes and 90 combined points, the game was virtually and literally right back where it began, except with each team 45 points to the good.

Sam Bradford’s 15-yard touchdown scamper  with 6:08 remaining in regulation gave the 2008 Stoops Sooners their first lead in the game at 45-38, but a four-yard touchdown run by Abdul Adams, one of three for him in the game, with 1:16 left tied the contest at 45 and sent it into overtime.

On the first possession of the extra session, Chris Brown broke off a 15-yard touchdown run to draw first blood and Jimmy Stevens kicked the point to put the 2008 team up by seven, 52-45. The back and forth continued with “Hollywood” Brown catching a seven-yard pass from Baker Mayfield. Austin Seibert added the extra point and the game was all tied again and heading to a second overtime.

The 2008 defense stiffened in the second overtime, holding Riley’s Boomers to a field goal attempt, which Seibert nailed from 36 yards out, making the score 55-52 and opening the door for the 2008 team. After a three-yard run by DeMarco Murray, Bradford found Quentin Chaney open in the right corner of the end zone for a game-winning 22-yard touchdown to go up 2-0 in the best-of-seven showdown series.

Bradford and Brown combined for seven touchdowns for the 2008 Sooners, and for the second consecutive game, Bradford was named the Player of the Game.

Bradford passed for 385 yards and four touchdowns, while Mayfield followed suit, throwing for 395 yards and three touchdowns. Juaquin Iglesias was Bradford’s favorite target with six receptions for 102 yards. CeeDee Lamb had four catches for 98 yards for the 2017 Boomers.

Brown led all rushers with 143 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns, including a 52-yard run in the third quarter. Rodney Anderson collected 120 rushing yards and a touchdown in a losing effort.

Bob Stoops’ 2008 Sooners 59, Lincoln Riley’s 2017 Boomers 52

(The 2008 Sooners are up 2-0 in the series)