Sooner supporters throughout the state are no stranger to bowl games, especially under the Bob Stoops regime. Every year since Stoops took over in 1999, OU has gone to a bowl game and is 8-8 in those season-ending showdowns.
Throughout this 17-year bowl streak, Stoops has seen a series of highs and lows on his resume.
-2000: After losing his first Bowl appearance in 1999, Stoops recovered nicely in his second season by winning the Orange Bowl and OU’s seventh National Championship. The 13-2 win came over a Bobby Bowden coached Florida State team, with Mark Richt as his offensive coordinator. Richt accepted the Georgia head coaching job in the weeks before the game, and Stoops used that distraction to his advantage and shut down the Seminoles’ offense.
-2001-2002: That championship run spring-boarded the Sooners the next two seasons as Stoops picked up wins in the Cotton Bowl over Arkansas and in the Rose Bowl against Washington State.
-2005: Rhett Bomar led the Sooners past Oregon 17-14 in the Holiday Bowl, which happened to be the only bowl win for the Sooners in a six-year span.
-2009: Stoops led the Sooners to a win over Jim Harbaugh’s Stanford team that featured Heisman finalist Toby Gerhart. El Paso didn’t provide the most glamorous setting for the Sooners, but the 31-27 win snapped a three-game bowl skid.
-2010: Landry Jones led a comeback against Nebraska in the last ever Big 12 Championship game, and the Sooners earned a bid to play against Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl. Stoops and company put the nail in the coffin early, and rolled past the Huskies 48-20.
-2011: Stoops had to put past memories to the side as the Sooners beat his alma mater, Iowa, in the Insight Bowl 31-14.
-2013: Oklahoma entered the game as heavy underdogs, but Stoops led the Sooners past Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl.
-1999: In his first year on the job, Stoops fell to a David Clutcliffe led Mississippi team in the Independence Bowl. It was a 27-25 loss for the Sooners, but Stoops turned it around next season.
-2003: Saban got the best of Stoops in this title game, as LSU beat OU 21-14 in the Sugar Bowl.
-2004: OU was back in the National Championship again, and left with the same result. Pete Carroll and the USC Trojans—led by Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Lendale White—drilled the Sooners 55-19 in the Rose Bowl.
-2006: Boise State got on the map with a 43-42 overtime win over Stoops’ Sooners. Broncos’ quarterback Jared Zambransky used some trickery on a two-point conversion to beat OU in the Fiesta Bowl.
-2007: Oklahoma came out flat in the Fiesta Bowl and got beat 48-28 by West Virginia.
-2008: The Sooners were back in the National Championship game at the Orange Bowl, but lost 24-14 to Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators. It was a close game, but Urban Meyer put together a tremendous game plan to limit Sam Bradford, who’d just won the Heisman.
-2012: Speaking of Heisman, Johnny Manziel showcased why he won the award when Texas A&M rolled over OU 41-13 in the Cotton Bowl.
-2014: Former OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables was on a mission in the Russell Athletic Bowl, as he shut down a flat OU team and the Tigers cruised to a 40-6 win. This game appeared to be a wake-up call for Stoops.