By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Never say a bowl game is meaningless.
Especially if it’s against a Southeas-tern Confer-ence school.
If Oklaho-ma’s players are tired of hearing how the SEC is so much more dominant over other conferences, they can do something about it Friday at the Cotton Bowl against former Big 12 rival Texas A&M of the dreaded SEC.
The Sooners have had a mixed history against SEC teams in bowls, going 4-6-1 against the conference in the postseason.
That does not include two games against Arkansas before the Razorbacks switched from the Southwest Conference to the SEC.
OU coach Bob Stoops is 1-3 against the SEC in bowls. Bud Wilkinson was 1-2. Chuck Fairbanks was 2-0-1. Tom Stidham was 0-1.
Here’s a quick history of OU against the SEC in bowls.
• 1939 Orange Bowl: Tennessee 17, OU 0: This game is known for being the Orange Brawl from the 220 yards in penalties given out —90 against the Sooners and 130 against the Vols. The Sooners, who came into the game undefeated, managed only 94 yards in total offense.
• 1950 Sugar Bowl: OU 35, LSU 0: This game was marred by an incident where an ex-LSU player (Piggy Barnes) was caught spying on Sooner practices. It didn’t help LSU as Leon “Mule Train’’ Heath ran for 170 yards, including touchdown runs of 86 and 34 yards.
• 1951 Sugar Bowl: Kentucky 13, OU 7: The Wildcats — coach-ed by Bear Bryant — ended the Sooners’ 31-game winning streak, thanks in part to OU losing a then bowl-record five fumbles. Future AFL and NFL quarterback Babe Parilli threw for 105 yards and one score.
• 1963 Orange Bowl: Alabama 17, OU 0 — Bryant bests Wilkinson for a second time with Joe Namath connecting on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Richard Williamson. The Sooners lost two fumbles inside the Alabama 10. Jim Grisham rushed for 107 yards for the Sooners, but the Tide’s Lee Roy Jordan had 31 tackles on the day.
• 1967 Orange Bowl: OU 26, Tennessee 24 — Karl Kremser missed a field goal on the game’s final play as the Vols almost came back from a 19-0 halftime deficit. OU quarterback Bob Warmack hit Eddie Hinton on a 20-yard touchdown pass and ran seven yards for another score.
• 1970 Astro-Bluebonnet: OU 24, Alabama 24: Hennessey’s Leon Crosswhite ran for 111 yards and Greg Pruitt had touchdown runs of 58 and 25 yards, but the Sooners needed a late field goal by Bruce Derr to forge the tie.
• 1972 Sugar Bowl: OU 40, Auburn 22: OU quarterback Jack Mildren outshines Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan, running for 149 yards and three touchdowns. Crosswhite opened the scoring on a four-yard run in the first period.
• 1999 Independence Bowl: Mississippi 27, OU 25: Les Binkley kicked a 39-yard field goal on the last play of the game to give the Rebels the win in the final college game of the 20th century. OU quarterback Josh Heupel set school bowl and Independence Bowl records for attempts (53), completions (39), yards (390) and tied the record for touchdown passes (3).
• 2002 Cotton Bowl: OU 10, Arkansas 3: The Sooners come back from a regular-season-ending 16-13 loss to Oklahoma State by holding the Razorbacks to 50 yards in total offense — 37 yards rushing and 13 passing. Nate Hybl threw for 175 yards and scored the game’s lone touchdown on a one-yard run.
• 2004 Sugar Bowl: LSU 21, OU 14: The Tigers claim the national championship by holding Heisman Trophy winner Jason White to only 102 yards in passing. White missed on all four pass attempts after the Sooners drove to the LSU 12 trailing 21-14. The last came with 2:46 left.
• 2009 BCS Championship: Florida 24, OU 14: Tim Tebow threw for 231 yards and two scores as the Gators claimed the national title. He guided the Gators to a touchdown after OU tied the game 14-14 in the fourth period. Sam Bradford threw for 256 yards and two scores, but OU couldn’t overcome being held twice inside the 10 in the first half.
OU is 18-12 against A&M and has won seven of the last 10 meetings.
Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.