Tale of the tape: Bud Wilkinson vs. Bob Stoops

How a pair of iconic Oklahoma football coaches stack up
by Berry Tramel Published: November 6, 2012
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photo - There is jubilation on the OU bench as the Sooners score their final touchdown in a 56-21 rout of Colorado in 1955. Coach Bud Wilkinson leads the cheering while line coach Gomer Jones appears to be weeping from joy. Dale DePue pats Wilkinson's back.  Identified players are Bob Timberlake (81), Gerald McPhail (48), Delbert Long (27), Henry Broyles (56). Photo from The Oklahoman Archives
There is jubilation on the OU bench as the Sooners score their final touchdown in a 56-21 rout of Colorado in 1955. Coach Bud Wilkinson leads the cheering while line coach Gomer Jones appears to be weeping from joy. Dale DePue pats Wilkinson's back. Identified players are Bob Timberlake (81), Gerald McPhail (48), Delbert Long (27), Henry Broyles (56). Photo from The Oklahoman Archives

Texas games: Wilkinson 9-8, Stoops 9-5. Wilkinson dominated often-mediocre Longhorn teams until Darrell Royal arrived in 1957, then lost his final six against the 'Horns. Stoops has dominated oft-elite UT teams.

Bedlam: Wilkinson 17-0, Stoops 10-3. Wilkinson beat one good OSU team, 1958. Stoops has played seven good Cowboy teams.

Conference landscape: Wilkinson was 91-9-2 in the Big Six, Big Seven and Big Eight. Stoops is 88-22 in the Big 12. The Big 12 is much deeper than the league in Wilkinson's day. From 1947-63, the Big Six/Seven/Eight produced just four teams outside OU that could be considered elite — 1947 Kansas, 1960 Missouri, 1961 Colorado and 1963 Nebraska. Stoops has played 14 conference games against elite teams, and even if you take Texas out of the mix, there are nine games against elite teams — 2000 Kansas State twice, 2000 Nebraska, 2001 Nebraska, 2007 Missouri twice, 2008 Texas Tech, 2011 OSU and 2012 Kansas State.

Nonconference prowess: Texas was a nonconference opponent in Wilkinson's day and OSU was until 1960. Wilkinson played 66 nonconference games (excluding bowls). Ten could be considered elite — seven Texas teams, two Notre Dame teams and Santa Clara in 1949. Fifteen others could be considered good, 28 fair and 13 poor. Stoops has played 50 nonconference games (excluding bowls). Only 2012 Notre Dame could be considered elite. Twelve others could be considered good, 16 fair and 22 weak, including four Division I-AA teams. So for Wilkinson nonconference, that's 15 percent against the elite, 38 percent against good or elite and 20 percent against weak. For Stoops nonconference, that's two percent elite, 26 percent against good or elite and 44 percent weak.

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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