1972 Sugar Bowl (December)
|1972 Sugar Bowl|
|Date||December 31, 1972|
|Location||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Chris Schenkel and Bud Wilkinson|
The 1972 Sugar Bowl was an American college football bowl game played on December 31, 1972. This 39th edition of the Sugar Bowl featured the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Oklahoma Sooners. Both teams came in with a 10–1 record. Penn State had a #5 AP ranking, whereas Oklahoma had a #2 AP ranking. It was played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.
Oklahoma won the game 14–0. However some dispute that Penn State actually won by forfeit.
Penn State was without their leading rusher John Cappelletti, who was suffering from a virus and a temperature of 102 degrees. Without Cappelletti, the Lions' defense were forced to step up and held the Sooners explosive Wishbone offense to only 14 points while forcing eight fumbles, recovering five. However, Oklahoma out gained the Lions 543 to 196 yards, 278 to 49 on the ground.
Oklahoma was forced to forfeit nine games from the 1972 campaign after they had used two ineligible freshmen. Despite the forfeit, Penn State refused to accept the win.
Because of this the NCAA does not recognize the Penn State forfeit win over Oklahoma in the 1972 Sugar Bowl, in part, because Paterno and Penn State declined to accept the win for OU's use of two ineligible players. The NCAA also stated that forfeits were not part of the NCAA sanctions levied against the Sooners. The NCAA says it only restricted OU's scholarships, TV appearances, and bowl appearances.
The scandal however, prevented the Sooners from playing in bowl games for two seasons after Chuck Fairbanks's departure to the New England Patriots. Offensive coordinator Barry Switzer, who spearheaded Oklahoma's adoption of the Wishbone formation during the 1970 season, succeeded Fairbanks.
The 1974 Sooners were named national champions by the Associated Press, but could not be ranked by the coaches' poll, due to a rule adopted following the 1973 season by the American Football Coaches Association which prohibited teams on major NCAA probation from the rankings.
The Sooners were allowed to appear on television in 1973, but were banned in 1974 and the 1975 regular season. Oklahoma returned to television with the Orange Bowl on January 1, 1976, when it defeated Michigan 14-6 its second consecutive national championship.