Tulsa's actually been to their fair share of bowl games in the program's history, only problem with this statistic however is that most came during an era of leather helmets and true grids on the gridiron. Ok, maybe not that far back, but damn near close. In fact, this will mark only Tulsa's fourth bowl game since 1991 -- to compare, the Utes will be playing in their fifth bowl game since 2001.
Tulsa Bowl History
|W||01-01-1942||Texas Tech||Sun Bowl|
|L||01-01-1944||Georgia Tech||Sugar Bowl|
|W||01-01-1945||Georgia Tech||Orange Bowl|
|L||12-13-1976||McNeese State||Independence Bowl|
|W||12-30-1991||San Diego State||Freedom Bowl|
|L||01-03-2004||Georgia Tech||Humanitarian Bowl|
|W||12-30-2005||Fresno State||Liberty Bowl|
|-||12-23-2006||Utah||Armed Forces Bowl|
Early on, Tulsa played in some nice bowls. In fact, from 1943-'45, they played in what we now call "BCS" bowl games. 1953 appears to be their last big bowl game, a one point loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl.
For a fairly long time between the 1960s up until the Steve Kragthorpe era, Tulsa was pretty much nothing in college football. It's interesting how one good coach can completely change a team's fortunes. It looks as if Kragthorpe is to Tulsa as McBride was to Utah. Both programs were strong from the 1940s-60s, then both fell on hard times and it took a solid coach to come in and build them up again. The biggest difference here however is that Ron McBride was never the charismatically appealing coach Kragthorpe seems to be. Which is probably why McBride's name never came up for bigger named jobs, yet Kragthorpe's has come up for every job opening known to man. In fact, I think Kragthorpe is the next in line to lead the Iraqi government.
Tulsa's a solid team with a strong bowl tradition, albeit one built in the 1940s. I remember the Liberty Bowl from last year and they played amazing football. Tulsa is capable of lighting the Utes up and I expect a good game, though based on Tulsa's bowl history, a game they don't stand much chance of winning. Yet I can't help but think the bowl history of either team (Utah is 8-3) is a moot point when the two hit the field in a couple of weeks.