Oklahoma also lost the BCS National Championship Game to Florida in January 2009.
Thursday's Sugar Bowl is Oklahoma's first BCS bowl appearance since routing hapless Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl to end the 2010 season.
Since the 2008-09 national championship game appearance, Stoops' program has been on a steady decline in terms of recruiting success, All-Americans and championships, among other benchmark areas.
Still, this year's team finished the regular season 10-2, a remarkable showing considering the Sooners' inconsistent quarterback play and several key injuries to veteran leaders.
“We do same things daily, monthly and on a yearly basis in how we work our program,” Bob Stoops told reporters earlier this month. “The guys in the locker room and coaches, we never lost faith. … We had areas, whether it was inexperience or injuries, we didn't manage them as well.
“You guys paint the picture and it changes from week to week. The picture in our locker room doesn't change.”