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Morning waybacks don't look good for No. 1 ranked Sooners

10/4/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Oklahoma made history earlier this week when they were installed as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press poll. It marked a record 96th week that the Sooners have sat atop the poll, breaking a previous tie with Notre Dame.

But bringing a No. 1 ranking does come with some drawbacks. We only have to look back to a couple of early games played on Oct. 4 to see where the Sooners struggled defending their top ranking.

1958 -- Oklahoma 6, Oregon 0 (Norman, Okla.): Less than a week after assuming the No. 1 position, the Sooners struggled before finally subduing the less-than-stellar Ducks. Bobby Boyd's 9-yard TD pass to Dick Carpenter accounted for all of the scoring. Prentice Gautt was the hero of the game with a touchdown-saving tackle late in the game, preserving the victory when he stopped Willie West short of the end zone. The Sooners fell out of the top spot after the Oregon game and were beaten by Texas the next week.

1975 -- Oklahoma 21, Colorado 20 (Norman, Okla.): Colorado kicker Tom MacKenzie shanked a potential game-tying extra point with 1:23 left, enabling the No. 1 Sooners to escape with a narrow victory. Joe Washington rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown and also provided a dazzling 74-yard punt return for another TD to highlight Oklahoma's sputtering offense. Oklahoma defensive end Jimbo Elrod provided 19 tackles to key the defense. The Sooners fell out of No. 1 two days later and didn't return there until winning the national championship with an Orange Bowl victory over Michigan later that season.

Bob Stoops will be hoping for a better performance as a new No. 1 team Saturday in Waco against Baylor. And it's not always easy to do that -- as past history has shown.