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The Oklahoma Sooners football program is a college football team that represents the University of Oklahoma (variously "Oklahoma" or "OU"). The team is currently a member of the Big 12 Conference, which is in Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The program began in 1895 and is the most successful program of the modern era (post World War II) with 567 wins and a winning percentage of .763 since 1945. The program has 7 national championships, 44 conference championships, 152 All-Americans (74 consensus), and five Heisman Trophy winners. In addition, the school has had five coaches and 17 players inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and holds the record for the longest winning streak in Division I-FBS history with 47 straight victories. Oklahoma is also the only program that has had four coaches with 100+ wins, including current head coach Bob Stoops. They became the eighth NCAA FBS team to win 800 games when they defeated Utah State on Sept. 4th, 2010. Games are played at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.
The football program at the University of Oklahoma is the most famous aspect of Sooner athletics. Football at Oklahoma made its start in September 1895, 12 years before statehood and one year after the first organized football game in Oklahoma Territory. The team was organized by John A. Harts, a student from Winfield, Kansas who had played the game in his home state. That first team was composed of mostly non-students, such as a local fireman. That first "season" saw the team go 0–1, being blanked 0–34 by a more experienced Oklahoma City Town Team (the Sooners could not even muster a first down). The first game was played on a field of low prairie grass just northwest of the current site of Holmberg Hall. Several members of the Oklahoma team were injured, including Coach Harts, and by the end of the game, the Oklahoma team was borrowing members from the opposing squad so they would have a full lineup. After that year, Harts left Oklahoma to prospect for gold in the Arctic.
The team got its first real coach in 1897 when the new modern language professor, Vernon Louis Parrington, was drafted as head coach (they played two games in 1896 with no coach). Parrington played some football at Harvard and was more exposed to football because he was from the east coast. In his four years as head coach (1897–1900), Parrington's teams racked up nine wins, to one loss and two ties. After the 1900 season, football began interfering with Parrington's teaching, his real passion. He stepped down as head coach shortly thereafter and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1928 at the University of Washington.
The Sooners had three coaches over the next four seasons. Fred Roberts led the Sooners to a 3–2 season in 1901, Mark McMahon recorded an 11–7–3 record in his two years as coach from 1902 and 1903, and Fred Ewing recorded a 4–3–1 record in 1904. The most notable event of those four years came in 1904 when Oklahoma had its first match against its instate rival, Oklahoma A&M. The game was played on November 6, 1904 at Mineral Wells Park in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma team soundly defeated the Oklahoma Aggies 75–0, but it was an unusual touchdown that is remembered most of that game.