1975 Oklahoma Sooners football
Oklahoma Sooners logo.svg
Consensus national champion
Big Eight co-champion
Orange Bowl champion
Orange Bowl, W 14–6 vs. Michigan
ConferenceBig Eight Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 1
APNo. 1
Record11–1 (6–1 Big 8)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorGalen Hall (3rd season)
Offensive schemeWishbone
Defensive coordinatorLarry Lacewell (6th season)
Base defense5–2
Captains
Home stadiumOklahoma Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 71,187)
Seasons
← 1974
1976 →
1975 Big Eight Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
No. 1 Oklahoma + 6 1 0 11 1 0
No. 9 Nebraska + 6 1 0 10 2 0
No. 16 Colorado 5 2 0 9 3 0
Kansas 4 3 0 7 5 0
Missouri 3 4 0 6 5 0
Oklahoma State 3 4 0 7 4 0
Iowa State 1 6 0 4 7 0
Kansas State 0 7 0 3 8 0
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1975 Oklahoma Sooners football team represented the University of Oklahoma in the 1975 NCAA Division I football season. The team was helmed by Barry Switzer in his third season as head coach. After sailing through their first eight games, Oklahoma suffered a surprising home loss to Kansas, which snapped a 28-game winning streak.[1] With only two regular season games and a bowl trip left, any hopes for a repeat national championship looked slim.

OU defeated Missouri, 28–27, in Columbia before coming home to defeat second-ranked Nebraska, 35–10 to take the Big 8 Conference title. With the conference title in tow, the No. 3-ranked Sooners, in their first bowl game under Switzer, headed to the Orange Bowl to meet Michigan.

OU prevailed in that game with a 14–6 victory and got pushed to the top spot in the polls when both #1 Ohio State and #2 Texas A&M suffered defeats in their bowl games. Oklahoma won its 27th conference and fifth national championship.[2]

The Sooners served their third season of NCAA probation in 1975. They were banned from appearing on television during the regular season, but the portion of the probation banning them from bowl games was lifted (Oklahoma did not play in a bowl game in 1973, but appeared twice on television; it was banned from both television and bowl games in 1974). Oklahoma returned to television for the Orange Bowl.

Schedule

DateOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 13Oregon*No. 1W 62–770,213[3]
September 20No. 15 Pittsburgh*No. 1
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 46–1071,030[3]
September 26at Miami (FL)*No. 1W 20–1739,020[3]
October 4No. 19 ColoradoNo. 1
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 21–2071,118[3]
October 11vs. No. 5 Texas*No. 2W 24–1772,032[3]
October 18at Kansas StateNo. 2W 25–333,196[3]
October 25Iowa StateNo. 2
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
W 39–770,879[3]
November 1at No. 19 Oklahoma StateNo. 1W 27–749,358[3]
November 8KansasNo. 2
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK
L 3–2370,922[3]
November 15at No. 18 MissouriNo. 6W 28–2767,518[3]
November 22No. 2 NebraskaNo. 7
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Norman, OK (rivalry)
W 35–1071,952[3]
January 1, 1976vs. No. 5 Michigan*No. 3
NBCW 14–676,799[3]
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

[4]

Roster

Complete Roster of 1975 season

Quarterbacks

  • Tony Antone – Freshman
  • 2 Dean BlevinsSophomore
  • 5 Steve DavisSenior
  • 14 Kerry Jackson – Senior
  • 10 Thomas Lott – Freshman
  • 12 Joe McReynolds – Sophomore
  • Louis Patmon – Sophomore

Running backs

  • 34 Jimmy Rogers- Sophomore
  • Ken Crosswhite FB – Junior
  • Jim Culbreath FB – Senior
  • 46 Calvin Harris FB – Sophomore
  • 37 Larry Lawton FB – Junior
  • 42 Jim Littrell FBSenior
  • Robin Roof FB – Junior
  • Doug Simcik FB – Sophomore
  • Larry Briggs – Senior
  • 25 Greg Byram – Freshman
  • 28 George CumbyFreshman
  • Jerry Foster – Senior
  • 44 Mike Gaither – Freshman
  • Greg Hutchings – Sophomore
  • 32 Horace IvoryJunior
  • 30 Kenny King – Freshman
  • 23 Woodie Shepard – Freshman
  • 20 Billy SimsFreshman
  • Edward Williams – Sophomore
  • 24 Joe WashingtonSenior
  • 4 Elvis PeacockSophomore

Receivers

  • 82 Billy BrooksSenior
  • Bill Gill – Freshman
  • 33 Bud Hebert – Freshman
  • Lee Hover – Sophomore
  • Jimbo Owens – Sophomore
  • 11 Tinker OwensSenior
  • Terry Williams – Sophomore

Tight ends

  • 83 Kent Bradford – Freshman
  • Howard Humphreys/Humphrey – Sophomore
  • Craig Lund – Junior
  • Reggie Mathis – Sophomore
  • 47 Wayne Petties – Freshman
  • John Randolph – Sophomore
  • 81 Keith Thomas – Junior
  • John Trest – Freshman
 

Offensive line

  • Phil Applegate T – Sophomore
  • 69 Ralph Kulbeth T – Junior
  • 68 Bill O'Gara T – Freshman
  • 67 Ron Ross T – Freshman
  • 73 Paul Tabor T – Freshman
  • 74 Phil Tabor T – Freshman
  • 94 Mark Wilson T – Freshman
  • Karl Baldischwiler OT – Sophomore
  • Sam Claphan OT – Sophomore
  • Reed Coody OT – Junior
  • 72 Jim Dodds OT – Junior
  • 75 Chez Evans OT – Junior
  • 78 Leo Martin OT – Senior
  • 79 Mike Vaughan OTJunior
  • Jeff Ward OT – Sophomore
  • Lonnie Wright OT – Junior
  • Tyrone Armstrong OG – Sophomore
  • 65 Larry Duke OG – Junior
  • Jody Farthing OG – Sophomore
  • 63 Jay Holman OG – Sophomore
  • 60 Jaime Melendez OG – Sophomore
  • 66 Terry Webb OG
  • 58 Jeff Bodin C – Senior
  • 55 Dennis Buchanan C – Senior
  • 52 Todd Dutton C – Sophomore
  • Mike Spencer C – Junior

Defensive line

  • 88 Duane Baccus DE – Junior
  • Gary Bishop DE – Junior
  • 92 Victor Brown DE – Sophomore
  • Marshall Cantrell DE – Sophomore
  • 54 Jimbo Elrod DE
  • Kenneth Franklin DE – Sophomore
  • Mike Mitchell DE – Sophomore
  • 89 Mike Phillips DE – Junior
  • Terry Sherman DE – Sophomore
  • David Bentley DT – Junior
  • 71 Anthony Bryant DT – Junior
  • Brett Cargill DT – Sophomore
  • Joel Estes DT – Sophomore
  • Dave Hudgens DT – Senior
  • Harvey Johnson DT – Sophomore
  • 76 Richard Murray DT – Sophomore
  • Phil Roland DT – Sophomore
  • 93 Lee Roy Selmon DT
  • 56 Glenn Comeaux NG – Sophomore
  • Reggie Kinlaw NG – Freshman
  • Don Morton NG – Senior
  • 91 Dewey Selmon NG
  • 98 George Walrond NG – Junior
 

Linebackers

  • 49 Marty Brecht – Junior
  • 40 Bill Dalke – Sophomore
  • George Davis – Junior
  • 50 Barry Dittman – Freshman
  • Rusty Griffis – Sophomore
  • 80 Victor Hicks – Freshman
  • 85 Daryl HuntFreshman
  • Steve Kunkle – Senior
  • Danny McCullough – Sophomore
  • 57 Obie Moore – Sophomore
  • 59 Doug Morgan – Freshman
  • Ted Phillips – Sophomore
  • 43 Greg Roberts – Freshman
  • 39 Greg Sellmyer – Freshman
  • 38 Jamie Thomas – Senior
  • 48 Russ Williamson – Sophomore

Defensive backs

  • 17 Jerry Anderson CB – Junior
  • Russell E Johnson DB – Junior
  • Vickey Ray Anderson CB – Sophomore
  • Roger/Rogers Owens CB – Sophomore
  • Jeff Brown DB – Sophomore
  • John Bunch DB – Sophomore
  • Tyrrell Jackson DB – Sophomore
  • Steve Larghe DB – Sophomore
  • Mike Pleasant DB – Sophomore
  • Mike Babb DHB – Freshman
  • 1 Zac Henderson FS – Sophomore
  • 27 Jerry Reese FS – Junior
  • 21 Sidney Brown LCB – Junior
  • 26 Frank Rohr LCB – Sophomore
  • 16 Terry Peters RCB – Sophomore
  • 31 Eric Van Camp RCB – Senior
  • 15 Mike Birks SS – Senior
  • 7 Scott Hill SS – Junior
  • 8 Myron Shoate SS – Sophomore

Kickers

  • 3 Tony DiRienzo K – Senior
  • 33 Bill Shirk K – Sophomore
  • Uwe von Schamann K – Freshman
† Starter at position     * Injured; did not play in 1975.

Courtesy of Soonerstats.com

Game summaries

Oklahoma had won the AP National Title in 1974 and began the year by thrashing Oregon 62–7 in Norman. OU played host to a Johnny Majors coached #15 Pittsburgh squad, sporting junior running back sensation Tony Dorsett (only a year away from the Heisman trophy and the collegiate rushing record), and they dominated, outscoring the Panthers 46–10. But a trip to unranked Miami was nearly fatal. The Sooners scored all 20 of their points in the second quarter and finished with just 163 rushing yards and 176 total, barely surviving a ten-point Hurricanes' fourth quarter en route to a 20–17 victory. That win was not enough to knock the Sooners to the second spot in the polls, but a one-point win over Colorado the following week was. Against the Buffaloes, the vaunted Sooner wishbone offense looked abysmal, and they surrendered a 14-point lead in the second half. A botched CU extra point in the final 79 seconds proved the difference. Ohio State took over the number one ranking. The Sooners, despite the close calls, came into Dallas atop a 24-game winning streak and a 33-game unbeaten streak and ranked #2 in the country.[5]

Oregon

1 234Total
Oregon 7 000 7
• Oklahoma 10 33712 62

Pittsburgh

1 234Total
Pittsburgh 0 037 10
• Oklahoma 7 16716 46
  • Date: September 20
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

Miami (FL)

1 234Total
• Oklahoma 0 2000 20
Miami (FL) 7 0010 17
  • Date: September 26
  • Location: Orange Bowl
  • Game attendance: 39,020

Colorado

#19 Colorado Buffaloes (3–0) at #1 Oklahoma Sooners (3–0)
1 2 34Total
Colorado 0 7 7620
Oklahoma 7 7 7021

at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, Oklahoma

  • Date: October 4
  • Game attendance: 71,118
  • [6]
Game information
First quarter
  • OU – Joe Washington 11-yard run (Tony DiRienzo kick). Oklahoma 7–0.

Second quarter

  • OU – Joe Washington 74-yard punt return (Tony DiRienzo kick). Oklahoma 14–0.
  • CU – Billy Waddy 3-yard run (Tom Mackenzie kick). Oklahoma 14–7.

Third quarter

  • CU – David Williams 1-yard run (Tom Mackenzie kick). Tie 14–14.
  • OU – Elvis Peacock 2-yard run (Tony DiRienzo kick). Oklahoma 21–14.

'Fourth quarter

  • CU – Billy Waddy 8-yard pass from David Williams (kick failed), 1:23. Oklahoma 21–20.

Texas

See also: Red River Rivalry

#2 Oklahoma vs. #5 Texas
1 234Total
• Oklahoma 10 077 24
#5 Texas 0 7010 17
  • Date: October 11
  • Location: Cotton Bowl
  • Game attendance: 72,032

[7]

Texas came into Dallas with a bona fide superstar in 225-pound sophomore fullback Earl Campbell. The fearsome runner had trampled everything in his path en route to 508 yards (8.1 ypc), including 198 yards against Washington. Behind the young Campbell, the Longhorns were leading the nation in rushing, total offense and scoring, averaging 44 points per game.

The Sooners had a leader in Steve Davis, an ordained minister that could run and pass. The halfbacks, Joe Washington and Horace Ivory were speedy and elusive. The receiving corps, paced by Senior Billy Brooks, was among the best of the wishbone era at OU. Of course, the greatest asset to the Sooners was not on offense. The 1975 OU defense was among the very best in a storied history, led by Lee Roy Selmon, who would go on to win both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award as the nation's best lineman.

It was the Sooner defense that made the Longhorns lose a fifth straight Red River Shootout. Neither offense exploded with big plays, both scoring hard fought points in the red zone. The game was best characterized by the hard hitting from both sides, which led to a considerable number of turnovers. The Longhorns fumbled the ball four times and gave away an interception. The Sooners lost two fumbles. The Sooner defense proved its mettle against the powerful Campbell, holding him to 95 yards on 23 carries. Although he was the game's leading ball carrier, he also marked the 21st straight time that a team failed to have a 100-yard rusher against the Sooners. The Sooners prevailed 24–17.[8]

Kansas State

1 234Total
• Oklahoma 14 353 25
Kansas St 0 300 3
  • Date: October 18
  • Location: KSU Stadium
  • Game attendance: 33,196

Iowa State

Iowa State at #2 Oklahoma
1 234Total
Iowa St 0 070 7
• Oklahoma 17 976 39
  • Date: October 25
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Game attendance: 70,879

[9]

Oklahoma State

1 234Total
• Oklahoma 10 0107 27
Oklahoma St 0 007 7
  • Date: November 1
  • Location: Lewis Field
  • Game attendance: 49,358

Kansas

1 234Total
• Kansas 0 797 23
Oklahoma 3 000 3
  • Date: November 8
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Game attendance: 70,922

After thrashing Kansas State, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State by a combined score of 91–17, the Sooners returned home. Inexplicably, a team that had run roughshod over equivalent teams, managed to suffer a 23–3 loss to unranked Kansas, a team that came into Norman with a 5–3 record. The Sooners were caught flat and were upset by the Jayhawks, knocking them from the #2 spot in the polls down to #7. In Columbia against #18 Missouri the following week, they needed a 71-yard touchdown run from Joe Washington on a critical fourth and one, a Washington run for a successful two-point conversion, and two missed field goal attempts by the Tigers in the final two minutes to eke out a 28–27 win. The struggles took their toll, and OU found themselves down another spot in the poll heading into the annual showdown against Nebraska. The defending national champs were reeling and in search of an identity. No game could have had nearly as much on the line as the final regular season game for the Big 8 Championship.

Missouri

1 234Total
• Oklahoma 12 808 28
Missouri 0 0720 27

Nebraska

#2 Nebraska at #7 Oklahoma
1 234Total
Nebraska 3 070 10
• Oklahoma 0 7721 35
  • Date: November 22
  • Location: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
  • Game attendance: 70,286

[10]

Nebraska began 1975 mostly under the radar, but they were riding a 10–0 record and sporting one of the best passing quarterbacks in the nation in Vince Ferragamo, who had transferred a season before from California. He had completed 66 of 109 passes for 1,007 yards and 12 touchdowns, against only two interceptions. The Huskers had stepped into the #2 spot in the polls that the Sooners had vacated in their loss to Kansas.

The Cornhusker offense was balanced, averaging 265.6 yards rushing and 156.7 yards passing per game, and was among the nation's leaders in scoring, averaging 34.3 points per game. The Nebraska defense was allowing only 8.5 points per game. They had posted four shutouts, including their last two opponents to run their string to ten consecutive scoreless quarters. The Black Shirt D had held the same Jayhawks team that had upset OU earlier in the season to only 177 yards of total offense.

The Big Eight title, as usual, was on the line in 1975. The winner would play in the Orange Bowl with a possible shot at a national championship. Oklahoma, realizing all that was on the line, had worked with Fiesta Bowl officials for a potential bid in Tempe if they lost to the Cornhuskers. Nebraska had shunned the Fiesta officials, possibly shutting themselves out of the bowls in the event of a loss.

Ultimately, the Sooners came out of Norman with the conference title and the shot at a national title in the Orange Bowl, and it turned out to not even be close. Three turnovers in the fourth quarter had ended the Huskers' chances. Oklahoma scored on all three to make it five touchdowns from six Nebraska turnovers. The Sooners came away with a convincing and incredible 25-point victory over the second-ranked team in the land.

Once again, it was the Oklahoma defense that made the big plays when they needed to and controlled the Nebraska offense, limiting them to 245 total yards, only 70 on the ground. Ferragamo, who came into the game with high expectations, had completed 13 of his 25 passes for 146 yards. His four turnovers, however, had spoiled the game for Nebraska, and Oklahoma was on its way to face Michigan in the 1976 Orange Bowl.[11]

Orange Bowl

Main article: 1976 Orange Bowl

Orange Bowl: #4 Michigan Wolverines vs. #2 Oklahoma Sooners (10–1)
1 2 34Total
Michigan 0 0 066
Oklahoma 0 7 0714

at Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

  • Date: January 1, 1976
  • Game attendance: 76,799
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jim Simpson and John Brodie
  • Recap/Box
Game information

UCLA upset top-ranked Ohio State earlier in the day, and Oklahoma knew that it had a chance for a national title in Barry Switzer's first bowl game as a head coach. It wouldn't be easy. The Wolverines were a punishing team, and made the Sooners know it early. In the end, a 39-yard end around by Billy Brooks and a nine-yard keeper by Steve Davis were enough for a 14–6 victory and a fifth national championship.[12]

Rankings

See also: 1975 NCAA Division I football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
( ) = First place votes.
Week
PollPre12345678910111213Final
AP1 (54)1 (51)1 (53)1 (56)1 (30)2 (14)2 (12)2 (8)2 (8)2 (19)673 (2)3 (1)1 (54.5)
Coaches Poll

Awards and honors

All-Americans

Individual award winners

Postseason

NFL draft

The following players were drafted into the National Football League following the season.[13]

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Lee Roy Selmon Defensive end 1 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Joe Washington Running back 1 4 San Diego Chargers
Billy Brooks Wide receiver 1 11 Cincinnati Bengals
Dewey Selmon Defensive tackle 2 60 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tinker Owens Wide receiver 4 96 New Orleans Saints
Jimbo Elrod Linebacker 5 144 Kansas City Chiefs
Tony DiRienzo Kicker 8 212 San Diego Chargers

References

  1. ^ "2009 Division I Football Records Book: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. p. 96. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "1975 National Champions". SoonerSports.com. University of Oklahoma Athletic Department. Archived from the original on July 18, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "1975 OU Football Season Schedule - SoonerStats - Historical scores, records, and stats for Oklahoma Sooners football, basketball, baseball, and softball".
  4. ^ "1975 Oklahoma Sooners Schedule". Soonerstats.com. 2007. Retrieved April 18, 2007.
  5. ^ "Beginning of Oklahoma Sooners 1975 Football Season". Soonerstats.com. 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  6. ^ Eugene Register-Guard. 1975 Oct 5. Retrieved 2018-Nov-09.
  7. ^ "Oklahoma Outlasts Rugged Heat, Texas." Palm Beach Post. October 12, 1975
  8. ^ "1975 OU-Texas Game". Soonerstats.com. 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  9. ^ Eugene Register-Guard. October 26, 1975
  10. ^ "Oklahoma rides fumbles to Miami." Eugene Register-Guard. November 23, 1975
  11. ^ "OU-Nebraska Game 1975". Soonerstats.com. 2007. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  12. ^ "2006 Oklahoma Football Guide". SoonerSports.com. University of Oklahoma Athletic Department. Archived from the original on July 18, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2007.
  13. ^ "1976 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 29, 2020.