OU football 101: What incoming students need to know
Welcome to OU.
For all the incoming freshmen who may not be familiar with the Sooners yet, here’s a quick guide of what you’ll need to know before the season kicks off Sept. 3.
(This also applies to the transfer students. You’re my people.)
Every football team’s most important asset is its quarterback, right?
In 2009, Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford was knocked out for most of the season, thrusting a true freshman from Artesia, N.M., into the spotlight.
He was rocking a wicked mustache at the time, and it didn’t take long for the student section to spread “Fear the ‘Stache” love for Jones.
Last season, Jones led the Sooners to a 12-2 record and a Fiesta Bowl win. He finished just two yards shy of Bradford’s program record for passing yards in a season.
Oh yeah — this summer, he proposed to OU women’s basketball star Whitney Hand. It was way cute.
The fearless coach pulled OU out of the depths of the ‘90s — it was really bad, I promise — and returned the Sooners to greatness.
Since arriving at OU, Stoops has taken eight Sooner teams to BCS bowls, including four national title games, with a 3-5 record and the 2000 national championship.
He also reached 100 wins faster than any other college football coach had before.
Ryan Broyles, Travis Lewis
Other than Jones, these two are pivotal for OU’s success.
Broyles owns every school receiving record you could think of and still opted to return for his senior season. Numbers don’t lie — he’s the best receiver ever to don a Sooner uniform.
Lewis led OU in tackles each of his first three years. He’s the anchor of the defense and a player most look to for leadership.
Oklahoma doesn’t have a list of traditions a mile long like some schools, but fans hold dear the few it does have.
Before each game, OU fans sing the OU Chant, Boomer Sooner (yeah, it has words!) and the Oklahoma state song.
OU’s “There’s Only One” videos have won national awards and get the crowd pumped up with messages from Sooner greats and a highlight reel worthy of repeated viewings.
At the end of the national anthem, instead of saying “home of the brave,” fans typically say “home of the Sooners” unless OU is playing a military school.
Before every kickoff, fans hold up the No. 1 hand gesture and yell “OOOOOOO,” then end with “U” as the ball is kicked.
Fans also tend to leave games early if the Sooners are winning big or losing badly. Be among the fans to change that — it’s shameful.
OU has multiple rivalries with national significance with the granddaddy of them all being the Red River Rivalry.
OU and Texas clash every year at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. It’s the best experience a fan can have over a weekend at the Texas State Fair and the Dallas night life.
And the fans hate each other. It’s great.
The in-state rivalry with Oklahoma State is rightly named Bedlam because it’s nuts. Well, it’s been nuts since the Cowboys actually became good at football about a decade ago. It was pretty boring before that.
By boring, I mean OU won almost every single year. That’s why this rivalry is a little one-sided with OSU fans bringing most of the hate because OU fans don’t care.
The Sooners’ last great rivalry was with Nebraska. The two clashed often, and often the winner won a national championship. When the Big 12 was formed, OU and Nebraska stopped playing every year, and now that Nebraska’s in the Big Ten, they won’t play much at all. It’s sad.
A few more things:
• Brent Venables, OU’s defensive coordinator, can be pretty scary. But he’s good.
• OU’s colors are crimson and cream. It’s not red.
• OU fans hate Boise State. Don’t ever mention the Statue of Liberty play or say the Broncos deserve to play for a title.
• The Daily will produce a special section called Inside the Huddle before each home game with tons of OU football stuff for you to read.
Good luck, new OU fan.
— James Corley, journalism senior