OU football: Sooners' aggressive scheduling philosophy continues with Georgia series
NORMAN — It wasn’t easy for Oklahoma and Georgia to make the puzzle pieces fit to make a home-and-home work.
It wound up needing an eight-year gap between games, but ultimately the pieces fit together and the Bulldogs will visit Norman during the 100th anniversary season at Gaylord Family—Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Sept. 9, 2023, OU announced Monday.
Oklahoma will travel to Georgia on Sept. 13, 2031.
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione made it a priority to schedule a marquee non-conference game in 2023.
Castiglione explored several different avenues, including moving an already-existing non-conference game to 2023, but it wasn’t until conversations with Georgia that things finally fit together.
“Every time there’s a conversation about scheduling, there are all sorts of moving parts that could make or break the opportunity to get a game arranged even when both parties are willing and wanting to make it happen,” Castiglione said. “We both agreed that we were trying to find the opportunities. … We were able to make them happen.”
The scheduling of the series gives the Sooners a scheduled non-conference game in every season through 2033, with at least one per season against a Power Five opponent.
Castiglione said he’s already working on scheduling for 2034.
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“I’m running behind on that one,” Castiglione joked. “We don’t have anything that we’ll announce in the near future. I think we’ve got a little time for that.”
The Sooners have a recently announced home-and-home with Clemson in 2035-36.
Under Castiglione, the Sooners have long been aggressive in scheduling big-time non-conference games.
Since Castiglione took over in 1998, there has only been one season — the 2000 national championship season — where Oklahoma hasn’t played at least one non-conference game against a Power Five opponent.
“If we aren’t engaged in actively timing these marquee games well in advance of the date in which they’re played, the opportunities to schedule programs like this will go away quickly,” Castiglione said. “We’re very intentional and disciplined about our scheduling philosophy.”
The philosophy has served the Sooners well, helping lift them into both the College Football Playoff and the preceding Bowl Championship Series thanks to big non-conference victories.
The Oklahoma and Georgia programs have been tied together for more than 25 years, since their joint lawsuit against the NCAA resulted in a 1984 Supreme Court ruling that changed the landscape of college football television deals.
But still, the programs have never faced off in the regular season.
Their only meeting came in the 2018 Rose Bowl, when the Bulldogs outlasted the Sooners 54-48 in double overtime to advance in the CFP.
Over the past month-and-a-half, this is the third future home-and-home series announced.
The Sooner had previously announced a 2032-33 series against Alabama and a 2035-36 series against Clemson.
In addition to those games, the Sooners also have future non-conference games scheduled against LSU (2027-28), Michigan (2025-26), Nebraska (2021-22, 2029-30), Temple (2025, 2028) and Tennessee (2020, 2024).
Future non-conference schedules
2019: Houston, South Dakota, at UCLA
2020: Missouri State, Tennessee, at Army
2021: at Tulane, Western Carolina, Nebraska
2022: UTEP, at Nebraska
2024: Temple, at Tennessee, Tulane
2025: Michigan, at Temple
2026: at Michigan
2028: Temple, at LSU
2030: at Nebraska
2031: at Georgia
2033: at Alabama
2035: at Clemson