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Oklahoma football: Bob Stoops can catch Switzer & Wilkinson

by Berry Tramel Published: October 12, 2012

Bob Stoops can make history Saturday in the Cotton Bowl. He can match Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer for the most OU coaching victories over Texas.

Stoops is 8-5 against the Longhorns. Wilkinson was 9-8 against Texas, thanks to losing his final six to his protege’, Darrell Royal. Switzer was 9-5-2 against Texas, and to this day those two ties rankle Switzer, who would be a nifty 11-5 against the ‘Horns had OU kicked an extra point late in the 1976 game and the officials not missed Keith Stanberry’s end-zone interception in the final seconds of the 1984 game.

If Switzer had reached 11 wins against Texas, he would own the record for most victories against the ‘Horns, regardless of where you coached.

Jess Neely coached Rice for 27 seasons, 1940-66, and went 11-15-1 against the ‘Horns. Matty Bell went 11-7-2 against Texas during coaching stops at TCU (1923-28), Texas A&M (1929-33) and SMU (1935-49).

The old Southwest Conference was a bastion of coaching stability. Lots of coaches made it double-digit years on the job, even if success was rare.

Which is why Grant Teaff and Dutch Meyer also have more victories over Texas than does Stoops. Teaff, the underrated Baylor coach from 1972-92, went 10-11 against the ‘Horns. Meyer coached TCU from 1934-52 and went 9-10 against UT.

Other long-timers’ records against Texas: Arkansas’ Frank Broyles was 514 from 1958-76, TCU’s Abe Martin was 6-8 from 1953-66, Texas Tech’s Spike Dykes was 6-7 from 1987-99 and Jackie Sherrill was 7-3 against Texas while coaching Texas A&M (1982-88) and Mississippi State.

And future Texas coach Dana X. Bible went 6-5-1 against the Longhorns while coaching Texas A&M (1917-28), plus a 1933 with Nebraska.

So Stoops can match Wilkinson and Switzer, which is always tall Cotton Bowl. Hang around a few more years, and Stoops can be the biggest thorn ever in Bevo’s side.

“I’ll think about that when I’m on a rocking chair somewhere,” Stoops said of such achievements. But Stoops did express excitement over the OU-Texas rivalry. “How can you not? I know what it’s like to walk down the tunnel. Pull into the stadium. I know the importance of this game. It’s impossible not to be excited. Just incredibly exciting and exhilarating. It’s what you want in sports.”

The other long-time OU coach, Bennie Owen, went 8-8 against the Longhorns. No other OU coach besides the big four has more than two victories over the Bevos.

Here are the records: Chuck Fairbanks 2-4, Tom Stidham 2-1-1, John Blake 1-2, Gary Gibbs 1-5, Jim Mackenzie 1-0, Lewie Hardage 1-2, Howard Schnellenberger 0-0-1, Gomer Jones 0-2, Jim Tatum 0-1, Biff Jones 0-2, Ad Lindsey 0-3, Vernon Parrington 0-1, Fred Roberts 0-2, Mark McMahon 0-2, Fred Ewing 0-1.

Meanwhile, Mack Brown is 6-8 against the Sooners. That’s not close to the Texas record in this series. Darrell Royal was 12-7-1 from 1957-76.

But that’s not the record for most victories against the Sooners. The aforementioned Bible went 13-3-2 against OU — 6-1-1 while coaching Nebraska from 1929-36, then 7-2-1 for Texas from 1937-46. And Tom Osborne went 13-13 for Nebraska against the Sooners from 1973-97.

Brown is third on the Texas list against OU, followed by Fred Akers (5-4-1 from 1977-86), Clyde Littlefield (4-1 from 1927-33), John Mackovic (3-2-1 from 1992-97), David McWilliams (3-2 from 1987-91), Jack Chevigny (3-0 from 1934-36) and Samuel Huston Thompson (3-0 from 1900-01).

How about other coaches? Who has beaten the Sooners the most? Bible has the record, followed by Royal. Then you go to Bill Snyder, 7-11 for Kansas State since 1989; Gwinn Henry, 5-8-1 for Missouri and Kansas from 1923-42; Bill McCartney, 5-7-1 for Colorado from 1982-94; and Bob Devaney, 5-6 for Nebraska from 1962-72.

 

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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