The Oklahoma Sooners might feel let down that they are playing the Iowa Hawkeyes in a lowly bowl like the Insight Bowl. This is a team that has spoiled their fans with national title and BCS appearances. A NewsOK journalist even claimed Bob Stoops is on the hot seat with this down year.
That is just dumb. With what Stoops has built in Norman, Oklahoma, it will take more than one injury fueled, down year to hurt his spot at Oklahoma. Besides, it is still better than 2009.
What fans should be happy about is that, while the bowl is a small one, the Sooners dominate them under Stoops, meaning the 2011 season might end with a nice win. With the exception of the first year that Stoops coached in Norman, the Sooners are undefeated in non-BCS bowl appearances.
2001 – The Cotton Bowl
One year after winning the National title, the Sooners ready to prove they could still compete despite losing Josh Heupel. Nate Hybl did a fine job, winning seven straight games before falling to Nebraska. The Sooners still had a chance until they lost to Oklahoma State at the end. With two Big 12 losses, Texas moved past Oklahoma into the Big 12 title game. Oklahoma found themselves in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas. Defensive superstars Rocky Calmus and Roy Williams dominated and Oklahoma held the Razerbacks to three points, winning a defensive struggle, 10-3.
2005 – The Holiday Bowl
In 2005, Oklahoma suffered their worst season since Stoops arrived and it started with a week one loss to TCU, their last home loss until 2011. They also lost to UCLA on the road, Texas in the Red River Rivalry and finally to Texas Tech, finishing with a 7-4 record. The Sooners ended up against sixth ranked Oregon in the Holiday Bowl and won the game, 17-14. The NCAA temporarily stripped Sooners of the wins thanks to NCAA violations, but after an appeal, Oklahoma got the wins reinstated in 2008.
2009 – The Sun Bowl
The 2009 season was a disaster from the start. Tight end Jermaine Gresham injured his knee before the season, missing the entire year, and quarterback Sam Bradford went down against BYU in the opener. Bradford tried to return in week five, but his season was finished after a second injury. With new quarterback Landry Jones, Oklahoma lost four more games to finish 8-5. Oklahoma made it to the Sun Bowl to face the Stanford Cardinal and came away with a 31-27 win. Toby Gerhart, who led the nation in rushing, ran for 135 yards in the game with two touchdowns but Jones threw three touchdowns to his new favorite receiver Ryan Broyles.