Forty-Seven Straight: The Wilkinson Era at Oklahoma

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University of Oklahoma Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 392 pages
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Football tradition at the University of Oklahoma still runs strong, as does the record of forty-seven consecutive victories that legendary coach Bud Wilkinson and his players set in the 1950s. Approached but never equaled by teams such as Washington, Miami, and Texas, the streak contributed to the acclaim Wilkinson garnered by amassing an impressive three national championships (1950, 1955, and 1956), twelve consecutive conference titles, twenty-three straight wins on opposing fields, Top Ten rankings for eleven successive years, and a thirty-one game winning streak before the unforgettable “forty-seven straight.”

Forty-seven Straight details how the record grew, season by season, as told by sixty-one of Wilkinson’s players during interviews with Harold Keith, the university’s sports publicist who witnessed all 178 football games during the Wilkinson era at OU. The players recall Wilkinson’s and his staff’s style, methods, and strategies while vividly recalling their most dramatic games. The scholastic integrity of Wilkinson’s program, which included high academic standards and graduation rates, produced a successful group of career-minded players.

  

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Contents

Jim Tatums Prize Recruit
3
General Jack
16
Sugar Bowl Champions
36
The Stump Harvesters
54
The Fighting Fools of 50
76
The Wilkinson Way
95
The Finessers
113
The Start of the Long String
136
Fortyseven Straight
217
The Breakthrough of Prentice Gautt
241
The Chicago Food Poisoning
261
The Rise of the Seven Dwarfs
280
November Rally
297
The Sophomore Team
315
Final Season
334
Appendix
352

Boner at Boulder
156
Run Tommy Run
174
A Remarkable Team
195

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About the author (2003)

Harold Keith (1903-1998) was the University of Oklahoma Director of Sports Information and the author of Oklahoma Kickoff , also published by the University of Oklahoma Press

Berry Trame l is Sports Editor and Columnist for The Daily Oklahoman.

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