Overall, Bob Stoops has has success against his old nemesis, going 10-3 against Bill Snyder since their first matchup in October of 2000. The three losses, however, have really stung. Many of these matchups have gone down to the wire, and here are the top five.
This was the first of two (hopefully not three) Norman meetings in which Oklahoma shot itself in the foot repeatedly. Credit has to be given to Collin Klein, however, for continuing to make big plays to keep Oklahoma off the field. Sterling Shepard made this spectacular play, which was one of the few bright spots for OU.
Michael Hunnicutt’s missed kicks. Trevor Knight’s pick-six at his own goal line. Neither player could be trusted again after that game. Also, Tyler Locket showed himself to the world that day, and he’s been beating people deep ever since. I’m still mad about K-State having linemen downfield on every passing play, and I’m glad the NCAA has cracked down on that.
3. 2000 (Part 1)
Oklahoma was finally starting to get the wheels churning again, and the Sooners we coming off a 63-14 dismantling of Texas the week before. Before an colossal home matchup the next week against the Bugeaters of Nebraska, OU had to get through a major test in Manhattan against No. 3 K-State. In the mid-to-late 90s and early 2000s, Kansas State actually had a lot of size and speed all over the field, which hasn’t been the case in Snyder’s second tenure.
The two were neck-and-neck in the early going, but OU would head into the fourth quarter with a comfortable 38-17 lead. However, a young Terrance Newman (he’s been old for about a decade, so it’s tough to remember him being young) returned a blocked punt for a touchdown to make it a game again with just over ten minutes left. Luckily, Josh Heupel and the defense were able to preserve the victory in a hostile environment.
This was a very underrated game and home environment in OU lore. College Gameday was there, and Kansas State was coming off a drubbing of USC (before USC had come back to prominence). The place was absolutely electric, and the game lived up to the hype. Oklahoma appeared to be in control for much of the game, but Ell Roberson always had a flair for the dramatic and was able to keep K-State in the game and make this one a classic. Oklahoma intentionally took a safety on a punt attempt to keep it away from Aaron Lockett, and OU would then bat away a Hail Mary attempt to win the game by a point. The highlight of this one for Oklahoma fans was definitely the fake punt for a touchdown to Hunter Wall. That was soooo awesome.
1. 2000 Big XII Championship Game
If you were in attendance for this one, you’ll remember how insanely cold it was. From my recollection, it definitely dipped into the low 20s at Arrowhead that night. K-State had revenge on its mind coming into that one, and the Wildcats nearly got it done. Trent Smith led the way for OU with eight catches for 96 yards and a touchdown, and OU was able to put a tight one away late with a long drive ending in a Tim Duncan field goal.
The three games in 2000 and 2001 each hosted College Gameday, and all three lived up to the billing. I don’t know if I consider Oklahoma and Kansas State to be rivals, but during that time it was definitely a rivalry. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again between Stoops and Snyder, but I sure hope we do.