Oklahoma Sooners: 5 Reasons Opposing Fans Are Jealous
Oklahoma football has become the model for building a successful and consistent college football program.
The Sooners have, year in and year out, shown that they are a force in college football and are the team to be compared to.
Fans from other teams look at OU and see what they want their program to be. With just the right balance of success and notoriety, Oklahoma football has become a recognizable brand synonymous with winning and doing it the right way.
There are many reasons you can look at and wish for when OU takes the field, but as they say in Norman, "There's Only One Oklahoma."
Here are the five reasons opposing fans are jealous of the Sooners.
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The Sooners have a very storied tradition that includes some of the most legendary coaching names in football history.
Oklahoma athletics owes a ton to Bennie Owen, OU coach from 1905-1926. During his time as football coach, Owen also coached the Sooner basketball and baseball teams.
Bud Wilkinson was also a large contributor to the Oklahoma program. Wilkinson won three national titles as a player at Minnesota in the 1930s. While at OU, he led the team to 47 straight wins for a stretch that included two national titles.
The names continue with Barry Switzer in the 1970s and 1980s.
Switzer ran a perfectly designed and executed wishbone offense that allowed the Sooners to contend each and every year. He made his teams better and made sure Oklahoma Football was a household name when his time was up.
Even current coach Bob Stoops has achieved legendary status in Norman. After winning a championship early in his tenure, Stoops has kept OU near the top of the college football world.
In his time with the Sooners, Stoops has never had a team with a losing record and has always made a bowl game.
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Oklahoma football has some of the best traditions in the country, starting with their hallowed grounds.
OU has been playing on Owen Field since 1923. The Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium was built around the field over the next decades.
What started as a 15,000-seat stadium has evolved into an 82,000-seat cathedral of college football. Recent renovations have bridged the tradition of OU football with the modern technology and amenities of today's stadiums.
OU is also famous for its official mascot—the Sooner Schooner. Before each game and after each score, the Schooner is led onto the field by members of the Ruf/Neks—OU's official spirt group.
The schooner is pulled by two white ponies, aptly named Boomer and Sooner.
The Ruf/Neks have many of their own traditions, and their secrecy gives the group its own allure.
Oklahoma also boasts one of the most recognizable fight songs in college football.
While it's words are not complex, "Boomer Sooner" is known throughout the country, and its tune will be stuck in your head all day.
Players Want to Come Here
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Recruitment is the lifeblood of any organization, especially college football programs.
The Sooners have been able to recruit well not only in their own region, but throughout the country.
Oklahoma has been able to go to places previously dominated by other teams and conferences and bring elite talent to the Big 12.
The current OU roster boasts players from across the nation.
Junior wide receiver Kenny Stills, who will be an integral part of the offense this upcoming season, was plucked out of Pac-12 country. The Encinitas, CA, native turned down Cal and UCLA to come play in Oklahoma.
Safety Tony Jefferson also left California to join the Sooners, turning down USC, UCLA, Stanford and Arizona.
Quarterback Landry Jones hails from Artesia, N.M., while running back Roy Finch went to high school in Niceville, FL.
Players from around the country are continuing to venture to Norman, drawing the ire of fans who want their region's high school stars to stay close to home.
Players Stay Here
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OU football has been able to make a name for itself not only as a place to go, but as a place to stay.
Over the last few seasons, many players have made a point to stay in Norman for all their years of eligibility.
In 2010, DeMarco Murray remained at OU for his senior season and had record-breaking performances.
In 2011, both Ryan Broyles and Travis Lewis were speculated to be leaving for the NFL, but both quickly decided to stay and finish their time as Sooners before leaving.
In 2012, Landry Jones will return to OU as the career statistical leader in most major passing categories.
For Sooners players, playing in college is not merely a stepping stone to the NFL. It is, instead, a time they use to create a legacy that will last for generations.
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It's hard to argue with success, and Oklahoma football has been successful since the beginning.
In the modern era, Oklahoma claims seven national championships.
The program has 821 wins and a .718 winning percentage all time.
There have been 152 All-Americans in OU history, including 74 consensus winners.
Sooners have been Heisman Trophy finalists 11 times, including five times since 2000. Five Sooners have won the award for best player in the country.
When looking at OU from afar, the biggest thing to envy is their success.
Everyone wants to win, only a few can. Oklahoma is just plain good at it.