NORMAN — Whether fans cheer for old Notre Dame or Oklahoma, the Fighting Irish's resurgence into national prominence has woken up the echoes surrounding Saturday's game between two of the most storied programs in college football history.
“It's great for college football,” OU coach Bob Stoops said of Saturday's tilt with Notre Dame, which makes its first trip to Norman in 46 years.
“It's great for both programs. It's exciting and it's what you want.”
No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 8 Oklahoma, which claim a combined total of 18 national championships, meet in a prime-time, nationally televised clash on Owen Field, where the Fighting Irish ended one of football's greatest winning streaks 55 years ago.
Bud Wilkinson's Sooners had won 47 straight games before their Nov. 16, 1957, home loss to Notre Dame.
It only seems fitting, then, that an Oklahoma win Saturday would be Stoops' 145th leading the Sooners, which would elevate him into a second-place tie with Wilkinson on OU's list of all-time winningest football coaches. Barry Switzer tops the list with 157 wins.
Notre Dame, because of its status as the nation's pre-eminent Catholic university, a national television contract with NBC and its excellent football tradition, has supporters anywhere it goes to play football.
For those fans, the Notre Dame Club of Oklahoma City hosted a Friday evening rally at the Myriad Gardens, and will hold a 2 p.m. tailgate party outside the Lloyd Noble Center.