Last time, we trimmed our list from the Elite Eight to the Final Four of the Oklahoma Sooners greatest games tournament. Today, we set the stage for the national championship game with our two Final Four matchups. But, before that, we’ll go back and look at the top 10 plays in the tournament. Now, let’s begin looking at the matchups and results of the Final Four of the Oklahoma Sooners greatest games tournament.
Top 10 Plays: Oklahoma Sooners Greatest Games
10) Patrick Collins seals it against the Cornhuskers
The 1987 version of the Oklahoma versus Nebraska game was built as another game of the century. But, this is a game that the Sooners dominated throughout. Oklahoma halfback Patrick Collins ran for 131 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown that gave OU the lead for good with 1:39 left in the third quarter.
9) One-handed catch sets up the improbable win
The 1986 game against Nebraska held a different tone than the 1987 game. The Sooners were down 17-7 after three quarters and it seemed like it was finally Nebraska’s time to shine. However, Oklahoma tight end Keith Jackson made a one-handed catch of a Jamelle Holieway pass on the west sideline and turned it into a 41-yard gain with nine seconds to play. This set up the game-winning field goal for a 20-17 Sooner magic triumph.
8) Parker saves the Sooner season
Baker Mayfield was the story for the majority of the 2015 season. However, in the final home game of the season, Mayfield was sidelined in the second half with a concussion. Trevor Knight was ineffective and TCU was within striking distance and elected to go for two for the win. But, Steven Parker kept the season alive for Oklahoma.
7) J.C. Watts wins the Orange Bowl
In the 1981 Orange Bowl, Oklahoma faced Florida State for the second time in as many years. But, this one was a battle from the beginning. However, trailing 17-10 with just over three minutes remaining, Oklahoma would need to turn to J. C. Watts. But, Watts has turned the ball over three times previously. He led the team on a 78-yard drive, that ended with a touchdown pass to Steve Rhodes with 1:33 remaining. The Sooners decided to go for the win, and Watts threw a pass to Forrest Valora in the end zone for the two-point conversion to give them the lead.
6) Interception completes Sooner Magic
Oklahoma walked into a hornet’s nest when they battled Tennessee at Neyland Stadium in 2015. And, for three quarters of play, the atmosphere got the better of them. The Sooners were under the direction of first-year offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. But, Oklahoma has mustered just a field goal in three quarters of play. However, the Sooners got hot and forced overtime. Then, after Oklahoma took a seven-point double-overtime lead Zack Sanchez sealed the deal.
5) A new Marshall in town
2000 was a special year in Norman as Oklahoma took home its seventh national championship. But, that was not without a major fork in the road. With the Sooner trailing 31-28 in the fourth quarter to Texas A&M, Torrance Marshall took matters into his own hands.
4) Eric Striker wins the Sugar Bowl
An average Sooner season turned into a great one as Oklahoma won the 2014 Sugar Bowl over Alabama. The Crimson Tide was reeling after the kick-six loss to end the season. But, Oklahoma came to play and held a late 38-31 lead until Eric Striker made his presence felt.
3) Go Joe, Go!
Just one week earlier, Kansas handed Oklahoma its first loss in three years. And, that struggle lasted the next week in Missouri. The Sooners trailed 27-20 late in the fourth quarter and faced a 4th and one. Joe Washington raced 71 yards for a score and capped it off with a two-point conversion and a Sooner victory.
2) The kick heard around the world
The story has been well documented. Oklahoma dominated the 1977 contest early against Ohio State. The Sooners led by 20 points at one point. But, in the second half, the Sooners were down 28-26 with just seconds remaining. Then, Uwe von Schamann would put his name in Sooner lore.
1) Roy Williams is Superman
No matter your age, few would disagree on the single most iconic play in program history. In the 2001 Red River Rivalry the Sooners hadn’t lost a game in nearly a year and a half. But, this was a defensive struggle with Oklahoma holding a slim 7-3 lead late in the game. That is when Superman took flight.
Final Four: Oklahoma Sooners Greatest Games
(3) 1972 Oklahoma 17 Nebraska 14 vs (2) 1977 Oklahoma 29 Ohio State 28
In our first national semifinal, we have a clear favorite against a prohibitive underdog. The 1972 Oklahoma win over Nebraska was a big one, but conventional wisdom thought that game might only make it to the Sweet 16. Conversely, the 1977 Sooner win over the Buckeyes stood the test of time and still remains one of the best ever played.
In one of the most lopsided matchups thus far, the 1977 win over Ohio State makes it to the national championship.
Winner: 1977 Oklahoma 29 Ohio State 28
(1) 2014 Oklahoma 45 Alabama 31 vs (2) 2001 Oklahoma 13 Florida State 2
This was a pretty clear matchup. It’s hard to argue with the star power for both of these games. The national championship or a win against one of the best programs that were littered with NFL talent. A magical end to a season as a springboard to another season or a magical season that culminated in the programs seventh national championship.
As magical as that win over Alabama was, it’s hard to go against a national championship win.