1976 Orange Bowl
42nd Orange Bowl
1234 Total
Michigan 0006 6
Oklahoma 0707 14
DateJanuary 1, 1976
StadiumOrange Bowl
LocationMiami, Florida
MVPSteve Davis        (Oklahoma QB)
Lee Roy Selmon (Oklahoma DT)
FavoriteOklahoma by 6 points[1]
RefereeR. Pete Williams (SEC)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersJim Simpson, John Brodie
Orange Bowl
 < 1975  1977

The 1976 Orange Bowl was the 42nd edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, January 1. Part of the 1975–76 bowl game season, it matched the fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines of the Big Ten Conference and the #3 Oklahoma Sooners of the Big Eight Conference.[1][2] In the first meeting between these two teams, favored Oklahoma won 14–6.[3][4]

This was the sixth and final Orange Bowl played on artificial turf; Poly-Turf, similar to AstroTurf, was installed before the 1970 season and two versions lasted six seasons. It was removed in early 1976, following Super Bowl X, and replaced with natural grass.


Main article: 1975 NCAA Division I football season


Main article: 1975 Michigan Wolverines football team

The Wolverines (8–1–2) were the runner-up in the Big Ten Conference, after falling to rival Ohio State in Ann Arbor, 21–14. This was the first season that the Big Ten (and Pac-8) allowed multiple bowl teams.


Main article: 1975 Oklahoma Sooners football team

The Sooners were co-champions in the Big Eight Conference with Nebraska. Oklahoma opened with eight wins before an unexpected 23–3 loss at home to Kansas,[5][6] which snapped a 28-game winning streak (37-game unbeaten streak) and dropped them from second to sixth in the rankings. With wins over Missouri and Nebraska, they rose to third.

Game summary

1976 Orange Bowl
Period 1 2 34Total
No.5 Michigan 0 0 066
No. 3 Oklahoma 0 7 0714

at Orange BowlMiami, Florida

  • Date: Thursday, January 1, 1976
  • Game time: 7:45 p.m EST
  • Game attendance: 80,307
  • Referee: R. Pete Williams (SEC)
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jim Simpson (play-by-play) and John Brodie (color)
Game information
First quarter
No scoring
Second quarter
  • OKL Billy Brooks 39-yard run (Tony DiRienzo kick) OKL 7–0
Third quarter
No scoring
Fourth quarter
  • OKL Steve Davis 10-yard run (Tony DiRienzo kick) OKL 14–0
  • MICH Gordon Bell 2-yard run (run failed) OKL 14–6


Statistics MICH OKLA
First downs 12 16
Rushes–yards 52–169 65–282
Passing yards 33 63
Passing: comp–att–int 2–20–3 3–5–0
Time of possession
Team Category Player Statistics
Michigan Passing
Oklahoma Passing


With top-ranked Ohio State's loss in the Rose Bowl, the Sooners were voted national champions.[7] (Since the previous poll in early December, #2 Texas A&M lost twice and fell out of the top ten.)


  1. ^ a b Taylor, Jim (January 1, 1976). "Big Eight down to Big One as bowl parade hits peak". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). p. 53.
  2. ^ "Run, run in Miami". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). UPI. January 1, 1976. p. 32.
  3. ^ "'We're No. 1' claims Sooner". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 2, 1976. p. 1D.
  4. ^ "No. 1, Sooner or...?". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 2, 1976. p. 25.
  5. ^ "Kansas rises up to dump Oklahoma". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. November 9, 1975. p. 77B.
  6. ^ "Kansas rocks Oklahoma". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. November 9, 1975. p. C5.
  7. ^ "No. 1: Sooners voted national champions". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 3, 1976. p. 1B.