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

Bud Wilkinson coached 178 games for the Sooners and went 145-29-4. Bob Stoops has coached 181 games for the Sooners and gone 145-36. That's a remarkably similar record. Let's compare the two OU football coaching giants.

Winning percentage: Wilkinson .826, Stoops .801. Only 37 coaches in history, all divisions, have a winning percentage of at least .800.

National titles: Wilkinson 3, Stoops 1. Wilkinson's were won via poll, conducted before the bowl games. Stoops' title was won via a two-team playoff.

Conference titles: Wilkinson 13 outright, one shared. Stoops 7. Wilkinson's were won without a league title game, mostly in a seven-team conference. Stoops' were won in conference title games, after winning a six-team division.

Undefeated seasons: Wilkinson 4, Stoops 1. Wilkinson had two 10-0 seasons and two 11-0 seasons. Stoops had a 13-0 season.

Undefeated regular seasons: Wilkinson 5, Stoops 3. Wilkinson had two unbeaten teams that did not play in a bowl game. Stoops had two unbeaten teams that were beaten in the postseason.

AP top-five finishes: Wilkinson 10, Stoops 5. In the 11 seasons from 1948-58, OU finished out of the top five only in 1951, when it was No. 10.

AP top-10 finishes: Wilkinson 13, Stoops 8. OU has finished in the top 10 only thrice since 2004.

AP top-20 finishes: Wilkinson 16, Stoops 11. Wilkinson fell out of the rankings in 1960 and '61. Stoops finished outside the top 20 in 2005 and 2009.

Bowl record: Wilkinson 6-2, Stoops 7-6. Wilkinson was 2-1 in Sugar Bowls and 4-1 in Orange Bowls. Stoops is 3-5 in major bowls.

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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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