Sport: And Still Champs

The first time they got their hands on the ball, the Oklahoma Sooners sent Pittsburgh's Panthers sprawling after a perfectly executed quick kick. From then on, starting the 1957 football season against the nation's No. 1 team, the Panthers, rated high among Eastern teams, were outmaneuvered, outrushed. outdefended, outkicked, outpassed.

The illusion that the Sooners had taken a dreadful chance in scheduling a tough first-game opponent had been nourished in Pittsburgh for weeks. The last team even to tie Oklahoma (42 games ago in 1953), the Panthers were said to have the stuff that...