1972 Oklahoma Sooners football
Oklahoma Sooners logo.svg
Big Eight co-champion
Sugar Bowl champion
Sugar Bowl, W 14–0 vs. Penn State
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 2
APNo. 2
Record11–1 (6–1 or 3–4 Big 8)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorBarry Switzer (7th season)
Offensive schemeWishbone
Defensive coordinatorLarry Lacewell (3rd season)
Base defense5–2
Captains
Home stadiumOklahoma Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 61,836)
Seasons
← 1971
1973 →
1972 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 2 Oklahoma $ 6 1 0 11 1 0
No. 4 Nebraska $ 5 1 1 9 2 1
No. 16 Colorado 4 3 0 8 4 0
Oklahoma State 4 3 0 6 5 0
Missouri 3 4 0 6 6 0
Iowa State 2 4 1 5 6 1
Kansas 2 5 0 4 7 0
Kansas State 1 6 0 3 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • The Big 8 Conference mandated Oklahoma forfeits in three conference games, giving Nebraska the title. Oklahoma reverted this record at a later date; hence, both Oklahoma[1] and Nebraska[2] claim this title.
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1972 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in the 1972 NCAA University Division football season. Oklahoma was a member of the Big Eight Conference and played its home games in Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, where it has played its home games since 1923.[3] The team posted an 11–1 overall record and were 6–1 in conference, later changed to 8–4 and 3–4.[4][5] This was Chuck Fairbanks' last season as Sooner head coach;[4] he left for the New England Patriots of the NFL.

The Sooners' 1972 record is marred by the use of an ineligible player. In self-reporting the violations to the NCAA, Oklahoma voluntarily forfeited eight games.[6][7][8] The NCAA later penalized the program by reducing scholarships, TV appearances and bowl appearances. In 2008 a blogger for Washington, DC TV station WJLA stated, "The NCAA claims that according to a now-retired statistician of the era, and a review of its database (which the NCAA admits might not be totally complete) that forfeits were NOT [sic] part of the NCAA sanctions levied against the Sooners." A commenter stated, "The 1972 forfeits by Oklahoma were sanctioned by The Big Eight. As such Oklahoma's conference record was adjusted, while their overall record was not. In older Oklahoma media guide ... Oklahoma would show their record as 11-1 with a 3-4 conference record (reflecting 3 forfeits, despite the original 7 or 8 forfeited. ...) Also, if you check the media guides of the teams Oklahoma "forfeited" to, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma State, you'll not[e] similar adjustments. Each team didn't change their overall record, but changed their conference record."[9] Oklahoma had used players (including Kerry Jackson, the team's first black quarterback) with falsified transcripts and on April 18, 1973, voluntarily forfeited eight games.[10] Eventually, the Big Eight sanctioned the forfeit of three conference victories (Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma State),[11] but Oklahoma now recognizes these as wins and claims the 1972 conference title.[12]

Oklahoma was led by four All-Americans: Rod Shoate (OU's second three-time All-American),[13] Greg Pruitt,[14] Tom Brahaney[15] and Derland Moore.[16] This was the first season that the Selmon brothers Lucious, Lee Roy and Dewey, all eventual All-Americans,[17] anchored the defensive line. The Sooners played seven ranked opponents (In order, #10 Texas, #9 Colorado, #14 Iowa State, #14 Missouri, #5 Nebraska, #20 Oklahoma State, and #5 Penn State), and four of these opponents finished the season ranked. Oklahoma's only loss on the field was in the fifth game against Colorado. The team concluded its season with a 14–0 victory over Penn State in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Eve.[5]

Pruitt led the Sooners in rushing with 1024 yards, Dave Robertson led in passing with 1136 yards, and Tinker Owens led in receiving (for the first of four consecutive seasons) with 430 yards. Pruitt led in scoring with 86 points, Shoate in tackles with 145, and Dan Ruster in interceptions with seven.[18]

The 1972 Sooners twice posted 37 first downs, which was a school record that stood for 16 seasons.[19]

Schedule

DateOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 16Utah State*No. 4W 49–062,546[20]
September 23Oregon*No. 2
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 68–362,240[20]
September 30Clemson*No. 2
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 52–361,210[20]
October 14vs. No. 10 Texas*No. 2ABCW 27–072,032[20]
October 21at No. 9 ColoradoNo. 2ABCL 14–2052,022[20]
October 28Kansas StateNo. 8
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 52–061,451[20]
November 4at No. 14 Iowa StateNo. 7W 20–634,941[20]
November 11No. 14 MissouriNo. 7
W 17–662,267[20]
November 18at KansasNo. 4W 31–737,356[20]
November 23at No. 5 NebraskaNo. 4ABCW 17–1476,587[20]
December 2No. 20 Oklahoma StateNo. 3
W 38–1562,363[20]
December 31vs. No. 5 Penn State*No. 2ABCW 14–080,123[20]
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll

Roster

1972 Oklahoma Sooners football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
OT 63 Neil Acker Jr
SE 8 Steve Allen So
OT 73 Drake Andarakes So
FB 1 Bill Anderson So
OT 74 Jerry Arnold So
C 54 Tom Brahaney Sr
OE 82 Al Chandler Sr
FB 17 Leon Crosswhite Sr
G 69 John McLaughlin Jr
TE 85 Mike McLaughlin Jr
SE 11 Tinker Owens Fr
HB 34 Greg Pruitt Sr
QB 15 Dave Robertson Sr
HB 24 Joe Washington Fr
G 60 Dean Unruh Sr
HB/P 22 Joe Wylie Sr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DE 96 Ray Hamilton Sr
DT 97 Derland Moore Sr
DT 98 Lucious Selmon Jr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 10 John Carroll Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured
    Injured
  • Redshirt
    Redshirt

Roster

Game summaries

Utah State

1 234Total
Utah St 0 000 0
• Oklahoma 21 7147 49
  • Date: September 16
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Game attendance: 62,546


[21]

Oregon

1 234Total
Oregon 0 003 3
• Oklahoma 14 21267 68
  • Date: September 23
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Game attendance: 62,240

Clemson

#2 Oklahoma Sooners at Clemson Tigers
1 234Total
Clemson 0 003 3
#2 Oklahoma 7 17217 52

[22]

vs. Texas

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (January 2021)

at Colorado

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (January 2021)

Kansas State

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (January 2021)

at Iowa State

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (January 2021)

Missouri

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (January 2021)

at Kansas

#4 Oklahoma Sooners at Kansas Jayhawks
1 234Total
#4 Oklahoma 7 10140 31
Kansas 0 070 7

[23]

at Nebraska

This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (January 2021)

Oklahoma State

1 234Total
Oklahoma St 0 096 15
• Oklahoma 14 10014 38
  • Date: December 2
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Game attendance: 62,363

Sugar Bowl (vs Penn State)

Main article: 1972 Sugar Bowl (December)

1 2 3 4 Total
Oklahoma 7 0 7 0 14
Penn St 0 0 0 0 0

[24]

Rankings

See also: 1972 NCAA University Division football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
( ) = First place votes.
Week
PollPre12345678910111213Final
AP6 (2)4 (12)2 (11)2 (14)2 (13)2 (15)2 (20)87844322
UPI3 (2)1 (11)2 (13)2 (12)2 (11)2 (13)2 (12)2 (8)6744322

Awards and honors

Postseason

NFL draft

The following players were drafted into the National Football League following the season.[25]

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Derland Moore Defensive end 2 29 New Orleans Saints
Greg Pruitt Running back 2 30 Cleveland Browns
Al Chandler Tight end 2 43 Cincinnati Bengals
Leon Crosswhite Running back 2 44 Detroit Lions
Joe Wylie Wide receiver 4 101 Oakland Raiders
Tom Brahaney Center 5 109 St. Louis Cardinals
Ken Jones Tackle 7 164 St. Louis Cardinals
Dan Ruster Defensive back 10 238 New England Patriots
Dean Unruh Tackle 12 292 St. Louis Cardinals
Ray Hamilton Linebacker 14 342 New England Patriots
Larry Roach Defensive back 17 424 Chicago Bears

References

  1. ^ "2018 Media Guide" (PDF). soonersports.com. Oklahoma Athletics. p. 6. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "2018 Media Guide" (PDF). huskers.com. Nebraska Athletics. p. 206. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Memorial Stadium". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "OU Football Tradition – 42 Conference Titles". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 22, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "1972 Football Season". SoonerStats.com. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  6. ^ White, Gordon S., Jr. (April 19, 1973). "OKLAHOMA AGREES TO FORFEIT GAMES Gives Up Eight Victories in Football in Case Involving Player's Altered Record". New York Times. New York. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  7. ^ Gems, Gerald R.; Pfister, Gertrud (2017). Touchdown: An American Obsession. Berkshire Publishing Group. p. 74. ISBN 9781614728238. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
  8. ^ Dozier, Ray (2013). The Oklahoma Football Encyclopedia: 2nd Edition. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781613216200.
  9. ^ Brant, Tim (January 11, 2008). "After Further Review...The NCAA Weighs In". WJLA/NewsChannel 8. Archived from the original on September 30, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  10. ^ Cronley, Jay (April 30, 1973). "Oklahoma Penalty: Illegal Procedure: Admitting that Quarterback Kerry Jackson's high school transcript was altered, the Sooners forfeited eight of their 1972 wins". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  11. ^ Edwards, Mark (June 13, 2009). "Forfeits, Voids, Vacations Make Mess of Records". Decatur Daily. Archived from the original on June 16, 2009. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  12. ^ "1972 season". soonersports.com. Sooner Sports Properties. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  13. ^ a b "All-American: Rod Shoate". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  14. ^ a b "All-American: Greg Pruitt". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  15. ^ a b "All-American: Tom Brahaney". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  16. ^ a b "All-American: Derland Moore". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  17. ^ "OU Football Tradition – All-Americans". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  18. ^ "2009 Football Record Book" (PDF). Big12sports.com. p. 164. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  19. ^ "2009 Football Record Book" (PDF). Big 12 Conference. p. 164. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "1972 OU Football Season Schedule - SoonerStats - Historical scores, records, and stats for Oklahoma Sooners football, basketball, baseball, and softball".
  21. ^ Palm Beach Post. 17 Sep 1972. Retrieved 2017-Jul-15.
  22. ^ "Sooners again." Eugene Register-Guard. October 1, 1972
  23. ^ Eugene Register-Guard. 1972 November 19.
  24. ^ 2018 Oklahoma football media guide. Retrieved 2019-Jan-15.
  25. ^ "1973 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2020.