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Oklahoma-Notre Dame: College football's biggest spectacle next weekend will be played on Owen Field

Two of the nation's highest-ranked teams will try to better their chances for a national championship. The loser can only think about what might have been.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 21, 2012

NORMAN — For 55 years, Sooner fans have felt united about Notre Dame football.

Call it hatred. Call it resentment. Call it a serious hankering for payback.

We owe you one, OU says en masse to all things Fighting Irish, remembering the day the Earth stood still. Notre Dame beat the Sooners 7-0 on Nov. 16, 1957, ending a 47-game OU winning streak that seemed 1,047 to anyone with a crimson bent.

Five times since, the Sooners have had their bats against the Irish. 1961, 1962, 1966, 1968, 1999. Five times the Sooners whiffed.

But the Irish cometh again, Saturday at Owen Field, and Notre Dame comes with a peace offering: a big-time ball team.

When the OU-Notre Dame revival was scheduled, Oct. 27, 2012, was marked as a special day. But no one figured the Fighting Irish to be relevant. No one figured the Fighting Irish to bring along Lee Corso and the national press and the weight of all those glorious games in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Notre Dame hasn't been nationally relevant in a decade or more. Even in early September, this one shaped up as the Sooners vs. the Ghosts of Notre Dame.

Instead, the Irish are unbeaten, ranked fifth and offer the eighth-ranked Sooners a chance for more than just vengeance for their fathers. Notre Dame offers the Sooners a chance to pad their BCS resume.

Notre Dame ends the curse of cushy superpowers on Owen Field. In the Bob Stoops era, OU has scheduled big names that have been big duds.

Alabama came in 2002 with a team that finished 10-3 but didn't win the SEC West. UCLA arrived in 2003 with a team ended up 6-7. Oregon showed up in 2004 with a team that fell to 5-6.

Washington was the 2006 fodder; those Huskies were a 5-7 team. Miami, another program that historically bedevils OU, stopped by in 2007, got licked 51-13 and staggered to 5-7. In 2010, Florida State took a 47-17 hammering and finished 10-4.

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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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