Around the beginning of the week, there came some rumblings that an already skittish OU fanbase didn’t want to hear: the Sooners are planning on wearing their alternate “Rough Rider” uniforms against Baylor. Lincoln Riley then confirmed the rumblings on Wednesday.
The immediate Twitter reaction was about what you would expect: immediate panic and enough mentions of “tradition” that you would have thought you stumbled into a thread about Fiddler On The Roof (way to tap into that target demo, Bobby). However, I started to think, “are these uniforms REALLY cursed?”. Let’s take a dive into the history to see if they are or not.
2014: Oklahoma at West Virginia (45-33, OU)
Ahhh the simple times in 2014, where we still thought we were good because we beat Bama. This is the first occasion we wore the uniforms and it went really well; this was known as Perine’s coming out party.
2014: Baylor at Oklahoma (48-14, Baylor)
Aaaaaaand HERE is the root of all the paranoia. The Rough Rider home uniforms debuted in one of the worst losses ever on Owen Field, the worst by far in the Stoops era. Baylor wiped the floor with the OU defense in ways that still haunt my dreams to this day. Not only did OU not play like themselves, they didn’t look like themselves as it should be noted that this is the only time the white helmet has been worn at home.
2015: West Virginia at Oklahoma (44-24, OU)
Another beatdown of the Mountaineers. The Sooners stuck to the classic red-red-white color scheme and plowed over WVU in Baker’s first time in the unis.
2015: Oklahoma at Kansas (62-7, OU)
I mean, it’s Kansas. OU could wear uniforms made from clothing taken from a Native American burial ground and still overcome that curse against the Jayhawks.
2016: K-State at Oklahoma (38-17, OU)
Another OU blow out in the red-red-white combo. Sensing a pattern here.
2016: Oklahoma at West Virginia (56-28, OU)
Speaking of patterns, another big win over West by-God Virginia! And at home! This was that amazing snow game where Baker and crew ran rampant over WVU, making a clean 3-0 all time against the ‘Neers in the Rough Riders. Looks like we know what we need to see in Morgantown this November.
2017: Oklahoma at Baylor (49-42, OU)
This is where things get messy. OU looked simply AWFUL against Baylor here in Waco. Not only was it a bad game, but just seeing non-traditional OU uniforms and Baylor in the same stadium had to give people odd feelings.
2017: Iowa State at Oklahoma (38-31, Iowa State)
And here we are with the most recent Rough Rider outing, which also happens to be one of the biggest upsets point spread wise in Owen Field history. The Sooners went color-rush for the first time ever, rocking an all crimson look that was unfortunately soiled by this game. Plus as this was the week before Texas, it dampened the mood quite a bit.
So there you have it: a 6-2 record. Does that look like a rational curse? Hell no. Especially when one of the two losses was a game the Sooners had no business being in. Plus the record shows that losses have only occurred whenever OU deviates from the home color pattern of red-red-white. Maybe Sooner fans have the wrong scapegoat.
However, I understand why people are more skittish than usual with this game. Not only is it the first time we’ve seen the Rough Rider uniforms since that dreadful Iowa State loss, but two of the three worst games in the uniforms were against Baylor. Those two things combined leads to a increased feeling of bad mojo amongst the donor section.
The one thing for certain? If Oklahoma loses Saturday, the Rough Rider uniforms will be the first to be blamed, rational or not.