Yesterday’s press release announcing the home and home Oklahoma in 2025 and 2026 discussed the last meeting between the two teams in the 1976 Orange Bowl, but it failed to note the two most important details of that New Year’s Day battle.
1. First, the presence of the epic All-Whites. Thanks to the Uniform Timeline we know the whites were used on the road in the 1974 and 1975 seasons, ending with the Orange Bowl against the Sooners:
The beauty of those outfits is that they possess many of the most loved and/or despised aspects of the uniforms that we just don’t see anymore, but are still discussed (granted, primarily on these pages). On them you have:
- The thicker, more sinister looking helmet “wings” on the front of the helmet
- The stripes converging up on the back of the helmet
- Helmet decals (snarling wolverine)
- Of course the white pants with white jerseys
- The stripes on the sleeves and pants
- And for posterity, just months later for the 1976 season, Nike shoes were introduced. See the Uniform Timeline for more.
Bring up the “wrong” opinion on any one of those elements to a uniform snob and you’ll see real, or at least virtual, shots fired: 2. Second, the press release didn’t mention the EPIC Michigan Marching Band and their Jaws set. Holy moly it is a classic (click for the YouTube – 2 parts):
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Full press release here:
Michigan and Oklahoma to Play Football Series in 2025 and 2026
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Two of college football’s most storied programs will meet for the first time in regular season history when the University of Michigan and the University of Oklahoma play a home-and-home series during the 2025 and 2026 seasons, announced jointly by the two institutions today (July 14).
“We are excited to reach an agreement to play Oklahoma, one of the storied programs in college football history,” said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “I appreciate Joe (Castiglione) and his team’s effort to make this series a possibility. Oklahoma and Michigan have always been regarded as two of the top programs in college football, and creating this type of match-up is great for fans of both programs and the game of college football.”
“We remain committed to playing games that celebrate the history and excitement of college football,” said OU Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. “We’re grateful for head coach Bob Stoops, who shares that commitment. Oklahoma and Michigan represent two of the most iconic names in American sport and we look forward to a series that will be marked by mutual respect and admiration. We also know how truly special these opportunities are for student-athletes, as well as our fans and college football fans everywhere. I want to express my appreciation to Michigan Athletics Director Dave Brandon, who shares our philosophy.”
Oklahoma will host the first game on Sept. 6, 2025, at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., with Michigan getting the return visit on Sept. 12, 2026, at Michigan Stadium. The game times and network television arrangements will be determined by the respective conferences prior to each season.
This will be the second meeting between the Wolverines and Sooners. The only previous match-up came in the 1976 Orange Bowl, a 14-6 victory for Oklahoma on New Year’s night. The Sooners scored a pair of touchdowns and the Wolverines scored on a two-yard touchdown run by Gordon Bell but the two-point conversion attempt by Rick Leach failed, creating the final margin.
Following is the game recap from the 1976 Orange Bowl:
Under pressure from the conference coaches, led by Michigan’s Bo Schembechler, the Big Ten finally lifted its long-standing policy of limiting post-season games to only the Rose Bowl. As a consequence, once the Wolverines lost their only regular-season game to top-ranked Ohio State, they accepted an invitation to meet the Oklahoma Sooners in Miami’s Orange Bowl.
The fourth-ranked Wolverines left for Miami armed with Gordon Bell, who led the nation’s second-leading rushing team with 121.4 yards per game, and under the guidance of freshman quarterback Rick Leach. Oklahoma came in as defending Associated Press National Champions despite making its first post-season appearance since 1972, due to two years of NCAA and Big Eight probation. The Sooners’ 10-1 record placed them second in both wire-service polls, and they marked Michigan’s first experience against a wishbone offense since meeting UCLA three years earlier.
The first quarter was a defensive battle, with the Wolverines putting together the only substantial drive, starting at their five-yard line before the drive stalled at the Oklahoma 38. Following Bob Wood’s attempted 51-yard field goal, the Sooners opened the scoring with a successive 40-yard pass from Steve Davis to Tinker Owens and a 39-yard reverse by Billy Brooks for the score.
Michigan drove as far as the Oklahoma nine-yard line in the third quarter before being thwarted by a pass interception in the end zone. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Davis ran 10 yards around the left end to increase the Sooner lead to 14-0. Michigan finally got on the scoreboard following an Oklahoma fumble on its own two-yard line. Bell carried it over on the next play, but Leach’s two-point conversion attempt was stopped. The Wolverines were only able to make it as far as midfield for the duration of the game, and the Sooners went on to a 14-6 victory. Following Ohio State’s 23-10 loss in the Rose Bowl to UCLA, the Sooners were named National Champion in both polls.