The anticipation is building for the start of another new Oklahoma football season, and we’re getting in the act by counting down the days to the opening kickoff of the 2021 season
Over the next 54 days — which happens to be how long before the Sept. season opener between the Sooners and Tulane in New Orleans — we will be highlighting interesting facts, figures and stories from Oklahoma seasons past and present.
Let the countdown begin:
In 126 Oklahoma football seasons, there have been 11 of at least six games that have ended in no losses. And only eight of at least 10 games or more.
One of those undefeated seasons was in 1954, when Bud Wilkinson’s Sooners finished the season 10-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country. Oklahoma won the Big Seven Conference championship, the eighth of what would be 13 consecutive conference championships under Wilkinson.
At the end of the 1954 season, the Sooners had won 19 consecutive games on their way to an NCAA record 47-game winning streak, one of those records that may stand forever.
Oklahoma won the Big Seven by two games over second-place Nebraska, but did not represent the conference in a bowl game that season.
The Big Seven had a contractual agreement with the Orange Bowl, but the Sooners had gone to the Orange Bowl the season before and because of a league rule prohibited a team from representing the conference two years in a row, Nebraska, with a 6-5 overall record and 4-2 in the Big Seven, went in place of OU. The Cornhuskers lost to No. 14 Duke 34-7.
Jimmy Harris, who would quarterback OU to back-to-back national championships in 1955 and 1956, and future All-American Tommy McDonald were both sophomores on that 1954 Oklahoma team (in those days, freshman were not eligible to play).