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Berry Tramel   OU Blog  


Oklahoma football: Hello, Big Ten

by Berry Tramel Modified: July 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm •  Published: July 15, 2014
OU all-American Lee Roy Selmon bears down on Michigan quarterback Rick Leach in the 1976 Orange Bowl. (Oklahoman archive photo)
OU all-American Lee Roy Selmon bears down on Michigan quarterback Rick Leach in the 1976 Orange Bowl. (Oklahoman archive photo)

The Sooners on Monday announced a future home-and-home football series with Michigan, 2025 and 2026. That’s a long ways away. My granddaughter is 8. She’ll have finished a year of college when the Sooners and Wolverines play.

But at least OU is looking at new territories. Like the Big Ten. The Sooners play Ohio State in a two-game series 2016-17, then play Nebraska in 2021-2022. That will be three Big Ten home-and-home series in a decade for OU. Which is almost as many as the Sooners have played in their entire history.

OU has not played on a  Big Ten campus since 1977, at Ohio State. The Sooners did play Northwestern in Chicago’s Soldier Field in 1997 and Minnesota in the Metrodome (which then was the Gophers’ home field) in 1985 .

But OU’s home-and-home series against the Big Ten number only four: Ohio State 1977 and 1983, Minnesota in 1985 and 1986, Wisconsin in 1969 and 1970, and Northwestern in 1959 and 1960.

The Sooners never have played Purdue or Michigan State. OU played Illinois once, in 1917. Played Indiana once, in 1928. OU has played Iowa  twice, in 1979 and again in the 2011 Insight Bowl. OU has played Michigan once, in the 1976 Orange Bowl. OU also played at Northwestern in 1939. OU has played Penn State twice, in the 1972 (season) Sugar Bowl and the 1986 Orange Bowl.

Maryland and Rutgers join the Big Ten this season. OU never has played Rutgers. The Sooners played Maryland in the 1954 and 1956 Orange Bowls, plus had a home-and-home with the Terrapins in 1964 and 1967.

And it’s not like Oklahoma State is signing up all the Big Ten games. No Big Ten team ever has played in Stillwater. And none are scheduled.

The Cowboys have played 12 games in their history against Big Ten opponents. Half of those games came before Franklin Roosevelt was president.

OSU played at Indiana in 1930, at Iowa in 1929 and 1930, at Michigan in 1926 and at Minnesota in 1927 and 1931.

The Cowboys played at Ohio State in 1989 and at Michigan in 1992. Their other Big Ten matchups have come in bowl games: Purdue in the 1997 Alamo and 2013 Heart of Dallas, Ohio State in the 2004 Alamo and Indiana in the 2007 Insight.




by Berry Tramel
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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