With 50 bowl appearances and 28 bowl victories, Oklahoma is firmly entrenched among the most tradition-rich schools in America. The Sooners have become synonymous with postseason play. OU enjoys favored status among the bowl community, partly for its tradition, but also for its fan following. Regardless of the location, Sooner fans flock to follow a bowl tradition that is as fresh as it is historic.
OU Bowl Quick Facts
Total Bowl Games
50 - No. 7 Nationally
28 - No. 3 Nationally
Overall Bowl Record
Longest Win Streak
4 on three occasions (1954-1959, 1972-1976, 1979-1981)
BCS Bowl Games
9 - No. 2 Nationally
19 - Orange Bowl (12-7 Record)
as Higher-Ranked Team
16-8 (.666) - 24 Games
as Lower-Ranked Team
11-10 (.524) - 21 Games
87,025 - 2013 Cotton Bowl
Most Common Opponent
Florida State - 4 games (3-1, OU)
All 18 of Bob Stoops' Sooner teams have been to bowl games (1999-20163) including nine BCS and four national championship games. None of Stoops' predecessors took even his first three teams to bowl play.
Due to the longstanding tradition that sent the Big 8 Conference champion to the Orange Bowl, Oklahoma has played in Miami 19 times and earned 12 Orange Bowl crowns -- more than any other team. OU has also played in the Sugar Bowl eight times (5-2 prior to 2016 season) and five other bowl games more than once.
Other bowl games
BCS National Championship
Oklahoma has played a total of 31 different opponents in bowl games. The Sooners have met nine teams more than once in a bowl including Florida State four times (last in the 2001 Orange Bowl).
vs. Florida State
2001 Orange Bowl
2014 Sugar Bowl
2002 Cotton Bowl
2015 Orange Bowl
1971 Sugar Bowl
2004 Sugar Bowl
1956 Orange Bowl
vs. Penn State
1986 Orange Bowl
1968 Orange Bowl
vs. 28 Teams
BOWL GAME MVPs
Thirty-five Sooners have earned Most Valuable Player honors in a Sooner bowl game including quarterbacks Jack Mildren and J.C. Watts who earned honors in two games. Most recently, redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight was named the 2014 Sugar Bowl MVP in Oklahoma's 45-31 win over Alabama.
In his first game since becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman, Johnny Manziel set a Cotton Bowl-record with 516 total yards and accounted for four TDs as the Aggies earned a 41-13 win over 12th-ranked Oklahoma.
Quarterback Blake Bell ran for his third touchdown in the closing seconds and Oklahoma survived a late rally, not to mention a crashing camera, to beat Iowa 31-14 in the 2011 Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.
Oklahoma's defense scored two TDs while Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles both had record-setting games as the No. 9 Sooners ended a five-game BCS bowl losing streak with a 48-20 win over Big East champion UConn.
Ryan Broyles set a Sun Bowl record with three TD receptions, Landry Jones passed for 418 yards and OU's defense slowed Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart just enough to beat the No. 21 Cardinal, 31-27.
The shootout between Heisman Trophy winners Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow never materialized. Playing in its third national title game in six years, Oklahoma fell to Florida in the Gators' own backyard, 24-14.
Pat White rushed for 150 yards and Noel Devine added 108 more as No. 11 West Virginia upset No. 3 Oklahoma. The Sooners trailed the entire game despite Sam Bradford's 21-of-33, 242-yard and two TD passing effort.
A pair of trick plays at the end of regulation and overtime ended Oklahoma's comeback and sealed a perfect season for Boise State. OU scored 25 unanswered points to take its first lead with 1:26 remaining before the wild finish.
Linebacker Clint Ingram made a leaping interception at the 10-yard line with 33 seconds remaining to preserve OU's 17-14 upset of No. 6 Oregon. The Sooners won six of their final seven games to close the season.
USC didn't need any help, but Oklahoma obliged anyway. The Trojans played nearly flawless, while the Sooners committed five turnovers as Oklahoma fell in the BCS championship game for the second year in a row.
OU entered the game with the nation's top scoring offense but struggled against the Tigers. Still, the Sooners had a chance at the end, only to miss on four straight pass attempts from the 12-yard line, the last with 2:46 remaining.
Nate Hybl threw two TDs, Quentin Griffin rushed for 144 yards and the Sooner defense logged six sacks and two INTs as OU became just the fourth school in college football history to win the four BCS games and the Cotton Bowl.
Oklahoma's defense tied a school record with nine sacks and held the Razorbacks to just 50 total yards. Arkansas reached OU territory just two times and had more rushing attempts (42) than rushing yards (37).
OU used a smothering defense to shut down the Seminoles and Josh Heupel generated enough offense to lead the Sooners to a perfect season. As the nation's only unbeaten team, OU claimed the program's seventh national title.
In the final college game of the 20th century, Ole Miss topped OU in a thriller, 27-25. Josh Heupel set school and bowl records for passing, but Ole Miss kicker Les Binkley made a 39-yard FG for the win on the game's final play.
After completing its worst regular season in 30 years and playing under a head coach who had resigned, Oklahoma ended the season with a dismal 31-6 loss. BYU's John Walsh set Copper Bowl records for completions (31) and TD passes (4).
1993 John Hancock Bowl
Dec. 24, 1993 Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso, Texas
QB Cale Gundy brilliantly guided Oklahoma's offense and Sooner defense slowed Doak Walker Award winner Bam Morris as OU claimed a 41-10 win over Texas Tech. The Sooners scored the first two times they had the ball and never looked back.
Cale Gundy had one of the greatest passing efforts in school history as Oklahoma crushed Virginia, 48-14. Gundy was 25-of-31 for 329 yards, and the Sooners scored on four of their first five possessions to put the game out of reach before halftime.
1989 Citrus Bowl
Jan. 2, 1989 Florida Citrus Bowl Orlando, Fla.
After a dry three quarters and the score deadlocked at 6-6, Clemson held off a late OU rally to give the ACC champs their first victory over the Sooners in 16 tries. Jamelle Holieway led Oklahoma on a last-minute drive before being stopped at the Tiger 14.
1988 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1988 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
OU's hopes of winning its seventh national title were put to rest by Miami, 20-14. The Sooners scored on a 29-yard fumblerooski late in the fourth quarter to gain a flicker of hope. Miami forced a fumble on OU's next possession, however, to ensure the victory.
1987 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1987 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
After nine years, Barry Switzer avenged his most embarrassing loss. Spencer Tillman gained 109 yards on just seven carries, and LB Dante Jones, playing in place of All-American Brian Bosworth, led the Sooner defense in holding the Hogs to just 48 rushing yards.
1986 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1986 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
(1) Penn State
A swarming defense, a record field goal performance and two big plays helped OU defeat Penn State to capture its sixth national title. The Sooners picked off four passes while Keith Jackson and Lydell Carr scored on plays of 71 and 61 yards, respectively.
1985 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1985 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
BYU was No. 1, but Coach Switzer argued that the Sooners should have been due to a tougher schedule. A win over Washington would have solidified that claim. The Huskies refused to cooperate and turned a 17-14 fourth-quarter deficit into a 28-17 triumph.
1983 Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 1, 1983 Sun Devil Stadium Tempe, Ariz.
(11) Arizona St.
The magic of Marcus Dupree ran out as the Sun Devils rallied for 14 fourth-quarter points to win the first meeting between the two schools. Dupree ran wild early, amassing 239 yards before recurring leg injuries forced him out in the third quarter.
1981 Sun Bowl
Dec. 26, 1981 Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso, Texas
OU scored 30 fourth-quarter points to turn a seat squirmer into a rout. Darrell Shepard, who began his career at UH, scored two TDs against his former team, while freshman Fred Sims rolled up 181 yards rushing after gaining just 179 in the regular season.
1981 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1981 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
(2) Florida State
Down 17-10 late in the fourth quarter, quarterback J.C. Watts and the Sooner offense drove the length of the field to score with less than a minute remaining, then elected to go for two and the win in one of the greatest Orange Bowl games in history.
1980 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1980 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
(4) Florida State
After Florida State took an early 7-0 lead, Oklahoma unleashed 24 unanswered points to knock off the previously unbeaten Seminoles. J.C. Watts rushed for more than 100 yards and Bud Hebert recorded three INTs to lead the effort for the Sooners.
1979 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1979 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
OU lost a heartbreaker to the Cornhuskers in November, but Nebraska was upset the following week. Orange Bowl officials came up with the idea of a rematch, much to the Sooners' joy and the Huskers shock. It went as predicted: an OU victory.
1978 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1978 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
With the Sooners in the running for a national championship, Coach Switzer called it "the most disappointing loss of my career." OU fumbled inside its own 10 on the third play of the game and Arkansas immediately scored for a lead it never relinquished.
1976 Fiesta Bowl
Dec. 25, 1976 Sun Devil Stadium Tempe, Ariz.
Oklahoma rolled up nearly 500 yards of total offense and cruised to an easy victory. The Sooners led 27-0 after the third quarter before the reserves added two more scores in the fourth. OU did not punt the entire game, the only time ever in Sooner bowl history.
1976 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1976 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
No. 1 Ohio State lost in the Rose Bowl earlier in the day, giving the Sooners an opportunity to win the national championship. A 39-yard end around by Billy Brooks and a nine-yard keeper by Steve Davis were enough for a 14-6 victory and OU's fifth title.
1972 Sugar Bowl*
Dec. 31, 1972 Tulane Stadium New Orleans, La.
(5) Penn State
OU's defense posted a shutout while allowing only 11 first downs and 49 yards rushing. Freshman WR Tinker Owens had five catches for 132 yards and one TD.
*Game was played on Dec. 31 instead of the traditional Jan. 1.
1972 Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1, 1972 Tulane Stadium New Orleans, La.
It was run vs. pass, with OU's runners prevailing. The Sooners roared to a 31-0 halftime lead and amassed 439 yards rushing by game's end. QB Jack Mildren outplayed Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan, scoring a Sugar Bowl-record three times.
1970 Bluebonnet Bowl
Dec. 31, 1970 Astrodome Houston, Texas
The Sooners switched to the wishbone offense late in the season and were running it to perfection by the time the bowl game rolled around. Greg Pruitt scored from 58 and 25 yards out, but OU stilled needed a late FG to forge a tie with the Crimson Tide.
1968 Bluebonnet Bowl
Dec. 31, 1968 Astrodome Houston, Texas
OU led 20-6 entering the fourth quarter but SMU's Chuck Hixson, with 281 yards passing, led a comeback to take a 28-21 lead. The Sooners had two chances to win the game late, including a missed FG attempt from inside the SMU 30-yard line as time expired.
1968 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1968 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
Although a slight underdog to the Vols, OU broke out to a 19-0 halftime lead. Tennessee cut the margin to 19-17 before a Bob Stephenson pick-six gave the Sooners some insurance. It proved to be the difference as UT missed a FG as time expired.
1965 Gator Bowl
Jan. 2, 1965 Griffin Stadium Jacksonville, Fla.
Florida State used a sophisticated passing attack to win easily. To add insult to injury, four of the Seminoles' TD passes were on fourth-down plays. FSU wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff finished the game with 13 receptions for 192 yards and four TDs.
1963 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1963 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
Legendary coaches Bud Wilkinson and Paul "Bear" Bryant faced off in this one. The Sooners had first-and-goal twice in the first half, but fumbles ended their chances and OU never really threatened again. Joe Namath and Lee Roy Jordan led the Tide to victory.
1959 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1959 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
Prentice Gautt scored on the second play of the game and averaged an OU bowl-record 15.7 yards every time he touched the ball. It was the Sooners' fourth straight Orange Bowl victory and first in back-to-back years after the "no repeat rule" was waived.
1958 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1958 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
Oklahoma gained only six first downs, lost the total offense battle and picked up an OU bowl-record 165 yards in penalties. Still, the Sooners won on the strength of two interceptions returned for TDs, two fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and a bad snap.
1956 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1956 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
After meeting two years earlier, this time it was OU that carried the No. 1 ranking into the game. Trailing 6-0 at the half, the Sooners went into their famous "fast break offense" and scored three times. It was the second national title for Oklahoma.
1954 Orange Bowl
Jan. 1, 1954 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
The 1954 bowl game was the first in which players had to play both ways. Twice, the Terrapins had first-and-goal, but both times the Sooner defense refused to allow any points. Larry Grigg scored the game's only TD on a 25-yard scamper in the second quarter.
1951 Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1, 1951 Tulane Stadium New Orleans, La.
OU won its first national title by going 10-0 during the regular season but was upset in the Sugar Bowl by Kentucky. The Sooners lost a bowl-record five fumbles and their comeback attempt was foiled by an interception in the final minute of play.
1950 Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1, 1950 Tulane Stadium New Orleans, La.
The game was one-sided and still stands as the largest margin of victory in OU bowl history. Earlier in the week, a former LSU player was caught spying on Sooner practices. It was the only time in Wilkinson's career that he publicly blasted an opponent.
1949 Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1, 1949 Tulane Stadium New Orleans, La.
(3) N. Carolina
In head coach Bud Wilkinson's first bowl game, Oklahoma upset the previously unbeaten Tar Heels. The big play came in the first quarter when Myrle Greathouse intercepted a pass and returned it 70 yards to set up Jack Mitchell's one-yard run.
1947 Gator Bowl
Jan. 1, 1947 Fairfield Stadium Jacksonville, Fla.
(18) N.C. State
Oklahoma and North Carolina State were two of the marquee names in college football at the time. The matchup was made possible when the Rose Bowl decided to match representatives of the WAC (now Pac 12) and the Big Nine (now Big Ten).
1939 Orange Bowl
Jan. 2, 1939 Orange Bowl Miami, Fla.
This was the first Orange Bowl that featured two national powers as both teams entered unbeaten and untied. Tennessee's powerful ground attack was too much for the Sooners, however, and the Vols raced to victory under their legendary coach Bob Neyland.
Sooner Sports Properties, LLC, is the multimedia rights holder for athletics at the University of Oklahoma.
Sooner Sports Properties is a joint venture of Learfield Communications, Tyler Media, LLC and Griffin Television.
POWERED BY FOX SPORTS
Sooner Sports Powered by FOX Sports is a multi-platform network that provides distribution of 1,000+ hours of Sooner sports programming annually on a variety of FOX Sports outlets, including FOX Sports Oklahoma, FOX Sports Southwest, and FOX College Sports.