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OU football: TALE OF THE TAPE

First to

the field

→Oklahoma: OU’s football program took the field in 1895, 12 years before Oklahoma was granted statehood.

→Florida: UF’s first recognized team in 1906 finished 5-3, splitting a pair of games with Rollins College (yes, that Rollins College).

→The edge: Oklahoma, because it’s cool to say the Sooners debuted during the second Grover Cleveland administration.

Bowl appearances
→Oklahoma: The Sooners are 24-16-1 all time, 2-4 in BCS games.

→Florida: 16-19 all time, 2-1 in BCS.

→The edge: Oklahoma. You can’t argue against the Ws.

Conference titles
→Oklahoma: 41 conference titles. The first came in 1915. Remember that year? Didn’t think so.

Florida: Eight SEC titles. The first, in 1984, was forfeited because of NCAA infractions (more on that later).

→The edge: Oklahoma. The Sooners rule college football in tornado alley.

Pro hall-of-famers
→Oklahoma: Troy Aikman, Tommy McDonald, Lee Roy Selmon.

→Florida: Jack Youngblood.

→The edge: Oklahoma, although Aikman played only one season at Oklahoma before transferring to UCLA.

Players in the NFL
→Oklahoma: The NFL drafted 36 Sooners since Bob Stoops became the Sooners head coach, including 2007 Rookie of the Year Adrian Peterson ( Minnesota Vikings) and Davin Joseph (Tampa Bay Bucs).

→Florida: There were 38 Gators on NFL rosters this season, including Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor and Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder.

→The edge: Push. Both schools stockpile the Sunday league with plenty of talent.

Game-day traditions
→Oklahoma: The Ruf/Neks are some of the most vicious fans in college football. They shoot off pop guns in the end zone at Owen Field and mercilessly heckle the opposition. In fact, they so annoyed former Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan that he referred to them as a bunch of [expletive] hillbillies following a game there in 2005.

→Florida: George Edmondson Jr., aka Mr. Two-Bits, is hanging it up after leading cheers at the Swamp since 1949, but his "two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar" cheer will undoubtedly live on. And the Gator chomp is something you won’t see outside of Gainesville.

→The edge: Oklahoma, because not even Mr. Two-Bits can hold a candle to [expletive] hillbillies.

Mascot
→Oklahoma: The Sooner Schooner, the school’s official mascot, is a Conestoga wagon pulled by two white ponies. How adorable.

→Florida: Albert the Alligator used to be a real, live creature toted to and fro in a glass cage. Now he’s just an oversized, but lovable, lug in a plush outfit.

→The edge: Florida, although neither mascot inspires greatness.

Band
→Oklahoma: The Pride of Oklahoma marching band loves to toll the Rodgers and Hammerstein title tune from the hit 1943 musical Oklahoma! Indeed, the waving wheat can sure smell sweet.

→Florida: Florida’s Fightin’ Gator Marching Band also is known as Pride of the Sunshine.

→The edge: Push. They’re bands, people. Unless a trombone player gets flattened in the end zone, do they really matter? Really?

Notorious coaches
→Oklahoma: Barry Switzer coached the Sooners to three national championships, but the NCAA twice put Oklahoma on probation during his head-coaching tenure, which lasted from 1973-1989. He was also known as a lax disciplinarian and some of his players became regulars on the Norman police blotter. Switzer later coached the Dallas Cowboys to a Super Bowl ring, but this part champion, part scoundrel couldn’t survive long in the NFL.

→Florida: Three years after he became UF’s head coach, Charley Pell’s actions at his old school, Clemson, placed the Tigers on probation. But Pell got the Gators in hot water with the NCAA, too, so he was canned during the 1984 season. Pell was followed by Galen Hall, who stepped down in 1989 after the NCAA uncovered more wrongdoing at UF.

→The edge: Oklahoma. Pell and Hall weren’t angels, but you somehow envision horns growing out of Switzer’s head when he flashes that impish grin.

Heisman winners
→Oklahoma: Five winners: Billy Vessels (1952), Steve Owens (1969), Billy Sims (1978), Jason White (2003), Sam Bradford (2008).

→Florida: Three winners: Steve Spurrier (1966), Danny Wuerffel (1996) and Tim Tebow (2007).

→The edge: Oklahoma, but since only a handful of you remember the likes of Billy Vessels and Steve Owens, the Sooners don’t have a huge advantage.

National titles
→Oklahoma: Talk about a huge trophy case. The Sooners have seven national championships and this will be the fourth time they’ve played for a national title under Stoops.

→Florida: The Gators have two national championships to tout, including a win over Ohio State two years ago in the first BCS championship game.

→The edge: Oklahoma.

BY MATT HUMPHREY

Staff Writer for the Orlando Sentinel

Related Photos
Lee Roy Selmon

Lee Roy Selmon

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-dad2d493cc7fd17c4ceec257f94bff8e.jpg" alt="Photo - Lee Roy Selmon" title="Lee Roy Selmon"><figcaption>Lee Roy Selmon</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c9a6c09dea558d7818e5b23245c1629d.jpg" alt="Photo - LEE ROY SELMON, OU FOOTBALL: University of Oklahoma defensive tackle LeRoy Selmon." title="LEE ROY SELMON, OU FOOTBALL: University of Oklahoma defensive tackle LeRoy Selmon."><figcaption>LEE ROY SELMON, OU FOOTBALL: University of Oklahoma defensive tackle LeRoy Selmon.</figcaption></figure>
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