For the first time since 2003, the Sooners will not open the year in a tournament, but will instead kick off the season in a three-game set at UCLA from Feb. 22-24.
The Sooners will face 10 opponents (24 total games) that participated in last year's NCAA Tournament, including five 2007 Super Regional teams (UCLA, Rice, Wichita State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State).
In addition, 29 home games at L. Dale Mitchell Park and three contests against Rice, Houston and Tennessee in the Houston College Classic (Feb. 29 - March 2) highlight the schedule. All three games of the tournament will be played at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, the home of Major League Baseball's Houston Astros. Rice is the lone 2007 College World Series participant on the schedule and one of seven teams the Sooners' will face that won 40 or more games last season.
"Our non-conference schedule will challenge a young and inexperienced Sooner club," said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. "With the talent we have recruited along with our returning players, the challenges of opening the season at UCLA and the trip to the Houston tournament with games against Rice, Houston and Tennessee, will prepare us for a rugged Big 12 schedule."
The home opener, slated for Feb. 26-27 against Arkansas Pine Bluff, begins a stretch that will see OU play at L. Dale Mitchell Park for 13 of the next 18 games, including home series against North Dakota State, Western Illinois and Washington State.
The Sooners will also face Dallas Baptist, Northern Illinois, South Florida, UT-Arlington, Wichita State and TCU in non-conference action in 2008.
"There has always been a great debate in whether you should play an easy schedule that helps build your team's confidence or play a tough schedule and prepare the student-athletes for what lies ahead in conference play," added Golloway. "At the University of Oklahoma, we have always accepted the challenge of playing the tougher schedule and we feel this year's slate will do exactly that."
The 27-game Big 12 schedule begins with Nebraska in Lincoln on March 21-23. The Sooners will also travel to Texas A&M (April 11-13), Texas Tech (April 25-27) and Kansas (May 2-4) during conference play.
In Norman, Oklahoma will host Baylor (March 28-30), Texas (April 4-6), Missouri (April 18-20) and Kansas State (May 9-11).
The Sooners will conclude the regular season with the annual Bedlam Series with Oklahoma State. Game one of the series is set for May 16 in Tulsa at Drillers Stadium. The teams return to Oklahoma City for the final two games of the series slated for May 17 and 18 at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.
OU Press Release