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Lincoln Riley Q&A

Keys To Success

End of an Era

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2017 Recruiting

OU finished off a memorable 2016 season on high note

Road Warrior

Emmanuel Beal Q&A

Fast & Furious

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OU vs. Texas: By The Numbers

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Steven Parker Q&A

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Speed Burner

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Ty Darlington Q&A

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Sooner Flashback: Jakie Sandefer

Next Generation

Hiring Time

Sooners hire new offensive coordinator

Samaje Perine Q&A

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Mike Stoops Q&A

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All in the Family

Road Warrior

On Point

King's Corner

Sugar Bowl Review

Editorial

OU to meet Alabama in Sugar Bowl

Josh Heupel Q&A

Josh Heupel Q&A

Boomer Bio

The Closer

Sooner Success

Mike Stoops Q&A

Bill Bedenbaugh Q&A

Spring Football Review

Spring Football Review

To The Point

Boomer Bio: Julian Wilson

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Jalen Saunders Q&A

Patience Rewarded

Boomer Bio: Sterling Shepard

Taylor-made for Oklahoma

Tony Jefferson Q&A

Attention Getter

A Change of Plans

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Proud Heritage

Hot Commodity

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Boomer Bio; James Winchester

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Cornerstone

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Playmaker

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Javon Harris Q&A

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Locked In & Loaded

Ben Habern Q&A

Landry Jones Q&A

The Classics

Top Ten Recruits

Bonus Prospects

Oklahoma Influences

Tight End Tough

Marquis On The Mark

Sooner Stars Set To Return

Jeremy Beal Q&A

Jamell Fleming Q&A

Boomer Bio: Trey Millard

Stacy McGee Q&A

Red River Tradition

Red River Tradition

James Patton Q&A

Boomer Bio: Eric Mensik

Quarterback Race

Quarterback Race

Boomer Bio: Kenny Stills

Boomer Bio: Marshall Musil

Getting His Kicks

Making The Right Moves In Recruiting

Bradford looks sharp in workout

No Doubt About It

Boomer Bio: Willie Martinez

Boomer Bio: Ronnell Lewis

Boomer Bio: Ronnell Lewis

Norman Bound

Showdown In The Sun

Jay Norvell Q&A

Jay Norvell Q&A

Boomer Bio: Dejuan Miller

Adrian Taylor doing just fine

Joseph Ibiloye Q&A

The Real Deal

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Casey Walker Q&A

Best of The Red River Rivalry

Bradford To Start Against Baylor

Facebook & Football

Tackling Machine

Keith Jackson Appearing this Friday in Norman

Josh Heupel Q&A

Boomer Bio: Stephen Good

Top Targets

Brent Venables Q&A

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Tisdale and Griffin

Wayman Tisdale Dies

Sam Bradford Q&A

Auston English Q&A

Blake Griffin earns Naismith Award

Ryan Reynolds Q&A

The Wait Is Over

Outlook for 2009

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Staying Put

Bradford, Gresham, Williams Coming Back

Make Room For Sam

Lendy Holmes Q&A

Bradford Wins Heisman

Heisman Material

Boomer Bio: Frank Alexander

Sooners Headed To KC For Big 12 Title Game

Sudden Impact

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Gerald McCoy Q&A

Offensive linemen Roundtable

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Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu

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Travis Lewis Q&A

Auston English Q&A

Jackie Shipp Q&A

Bob Stoops Q&A

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Bradford Talks About Sooner Experience

Big Dreams

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Marcus Walker Q&A

Looking Ahead

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Manny Being Manny

The Big Easy

Super Sidekick

English Lesson

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A Cut Above

The Definition of Rivalry

On The Rise

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Bookends

Bradford Named Starting QB

Venables Verbatim

Sooner Spectator & Rivals.com Teaming Up

Final Chapter

Catching Up With Sumlin

Welcome Back Little Joe

Wilson’s Defensive Wisdom

Reggie Smith Q&A

Malcolm Over The Middle

Fantastic Five

Thompson & Alexander To Sign Autographs

WE'RE BACK!!!!

GET READY FOR THE RETURN OF SOONER SPECTATOR!

OU’s Greatest

Boomer Bio: Brody Eldridge

Boomer Bio: Fred Strong

Dual Threat: Stephen Garcia

Thirty Reasons Why OU will beat Texas

Double Duty

Kody Cooke: A Conversation

Boomer Bio: Lendy Holmes

Welcome Back

Quick Five With Nic Harris

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The Opposition

Defensive Backing

Recruiting: Crimson Bloodline

Wilson Weighs In

Replacing Runnels?

Defensive Outlook

Top Shelf: Austin Box

Rufus Revelations

Reaction to Capel Hiring

A.D. Unscripted

OU will miss Sampson

OU Scrimmage Report

Joey Halzle Q&A

Gray, OU prep for The Dance

Moore is Better

Sooners eye stretch run

Haskell remains a lost treasure

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Sherri Coale Conversation

Taylor Made

Future Considerations

McCoy becomes a Sooner

Michael Neal Q&A

Recruiting: Dominique Franks Q&A

Strong Willed

Football Recruiting Notes

Remembering Billy Ball

Enough Gloom & Doom

Back In Business

Endowed Scholarships Announced

USC or Texas: The Lesser of Two Evils?

Stoops is not leaving OU

Sooners down Ducks in Holiday Bowl

Biding His Time

Kelvin Sampson Q&A

Next Stop Division I

Boomer Bio: Allen Patrick

Chris Messner Q&A

Bob Stoops' take on Bedlam Victory

Terrance Anderson's Journey

OU vs. Tech: The Answers

OU vs. Tech Matchups

Road Warrior

Stoops talks about OU's 36-30 win

OU vs. A&M matchups

OU Coaches’ Roundtable

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Boomer Bio: Juaquin Iglesias

Carl Pendleton Q&A

Sooners topple Huskers in Lincoln

OU-Nebraska Matchups

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Sooners top Baylor

OU vs. Baylor Matchups

Recruiting: Offensive Line

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Sooners top Jayhawks

OU vs. Kansas Matchups

Boomer Bio

A Pleasant Conversation

Texas tops Oklahoma

Red River Rivarly Matchups

Dusty Dvoracek: In The Trenches

Sooners Roll Past K-State

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The Answers: OU vs. Tulsa

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Bob Stoops' take on TCU loss

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Joseph talks about summer workouts

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Kim Named to U.S. Walker Cup Team

Sooners name Golloway

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Stephenson takes OU head baseball job

Soon to be Sooners

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Letter from the Editor

Q and A

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Sooner Selections

Ole Miss powers past Sooners

OU's Weekly Sports Report

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OU's Kim wins Big 12 Golf Title

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Red Rallies to Down White

Big crowd expected

Prelude To Greatness?

Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain




On Sale at Newsstands Dec. 24!
Playoff Bound
Playoff committee sends OU to Miami where historically the Sooners have been very good

I don’t know if many of you noticed, but it’s been 15 years since we won a national championship. And it was 15 years before that when we won the one before. I don’t know if that means anything, but I’d like to think it does.

And both of those championships came in Miami. All of it in Miami. It seems that any glory that we earn must come with a trip to the land of beaches, gators, Art Deco, pastels and neon. And so it is again.
Yes, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth over Michigan State jumping us on the final day to take away a spot in Dallas.

The logic of it, frankly, still escapes me. The press seemed fixated on Oklahoma not having the advantage of playing close to home. As if they ever had a problem with it when the other guys were playing us close to home.

I was one of the many who thought that maybe, just maybe, we would finally get our chance to play one of our biggest games in our own backyard. At least I thought that until the morning after Championship Saturday, when I had resigned myself to what appeared to be ready to happen. It was bound to happen this way.

Two Orange Bowls against Florida State in Miami’s old Orange Bowl Stadium.
National title games in Miami at the Dolphins’ stadium against Florida and Florida State. A de facto national title game against Miami on their own home field.

Even in hoops — the Final Four against Kansas in Kansas City. Even in the 60s — a Gator Bowl against Florida State in Jacksonville. And the most egregious of all — a national title game against LSU in New Orleans, a crime so heinous that it made even sober men in black robes vow never again to travel to that raucous town so wisely built by the French in a broad ditch between a lake and a river.

But Miami is our destination, once again. And while it’s not strictly in Clemson’s backyard, it’s a damn sight closer to there than it is to Norman. But to Miami we must go.

In the end, though, there’s a certain symmetry to it. While we cannot win the title in Miami this time, we cannot win the title without winning in Miami, like so many times before.

In the end, how could it not be the Orange Bowl?

An initial measure of glory awaits in South Florida, with the rest waiting in the Arizona desert. Glory awaits — and a final measure of redemption.

We don’t often get stories of redemption like this season. Certainly, there are payback games from time to time, but never like this. Five times the Sooners fell in 2014, often in the most painful of ways.

A pick-six here, a missed chip-shot field goal there, a punt return that shouldn’t have been. And a beatdown in a bowl game that nobody appeared to care about.
And in 2015, all of those losses, save one, have been redeemed, many in the most satisfying of ways. Kansas State — destroyed and shut out on their home field. TCU — beaten. Baylor — beaten for the first time in its new stadium in the biggest game in their school’s history. Oklahoma State — destroyed on its home field with a conference title on the line.

All of them redeemed — save one. And that one awaits in South Florida, with a trip to the National Championship Game on the line.

So as it was a year ago, it is Oklahoma, and it is Clemson, and it is in Florida. They will wear orange helmets and we will wear crimson. But while the teams and the state and the helmets are the same, that’s about all.

Clemson is the only undefeated team in major college football. They held the top spot in the playoff committee rankings from wire to wire.

And Oklahoma? Well, we hardly resemble the sad sacks that enjoyed their week at Disney World and acted like they were still at the theme park when they hit the field at Citrus Bowl Stadium. That game was for nothing and meant nothing, and we surely played like that was the case. This game?

Well, this game is for everything and means everything, and we will surely play like that’s the case.

And while the vast majority of Sooner fans bemoaned the placement in far-away South Florida, those who will take the field on New Years’ Eve felt quite different.

They get another shot at Clemson. They get another shot at redemption. They get a chance to wipe away the last lingering vestige of the disappointments of 2014, and in the process, to punch their ticket for the biggest game of them all.

So we will go back to Miami, where Oklahoma plays for titles. Back to the Orange Bowl, where Oklahoma wins titles. We will go back to playing for the national championship. We will go back where we belong.

Boomer Sooner. See you in South Beach.

(The Road Warrior column appears in every issue of Sooner Spectator. To read more or subscribe, call 405-364-4515)