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The Main Event: Best OU openers of all time


Berry Tramel Modified: August 16, 2009 at 10:45 pm •  Published: August 16, 2009

1. 1968 OU at Notre Dame: The Sooners were ranked fourth, the Irish third. OU was coming off its renaissance Orange Bowl season of 1967, while Notre Dame sported the legendary combo of quarterback Terry Hanratty and receiver Jim Seymour, who had led the Irish to the 1966 national title as sophomores. Notre Dame rolled 45-21.

2. 1986 UCLA at OU: Hard to recall this game as highly anticipated, since the Sooners rolled 38-3. But OU was No. 1 and UCLA No. 4, matching the highest ranked season-opening foe for a No. 1 ranked team (No. 1 Nebraska played No. 4 Penn State in 1983).

3. 1953 Notre Dame at OU: The Irish were ranked No. 1 and had Heisman Trophy favorite Johnny Lattner. The Sooners were No. 6, their lowest preseason ranking between 1950 and 1960. Notre Dame won a 28-21 classic.

4. 1946 OU at Army: The modern era of Sooner football kicked off with a bang at West Point. Army was the two-time defending national champion and full of stars, like Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard. But Jim Tatum's only OU squad battled Army to a 7-7 halftime tie before the Cadets won 21-7.

5. 1957 OU at Pitt: The eighth-ranked Panthers were coming off a Gator Bowl season, while the Sooners were the ultimate dynasty in sport, having won 40 straight games. OU made it 41 with a 26-0 shutout.

6. 1959 OU at Northwestern: The Sooners were ranked second, befitting a program that had lost just two of its previous 63 games. But the Wildcats were ranked 10th, and Northwestern pulled a 45-13 shocker after several Sooners encountered food poisoning from a Friday night dinner at the famed Chez Paree nightclub.


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