The 1988 Orange Bowl was an American college football bowl game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Oklahoma Sooners. It was the 54th edition of the Orange Bowl and took place at the Orange Bowl stadium in Miami, Florida on January 1, 1988. Miami was coached by Jimmy Johnson and Oklahoma was coached by Barry Switzer….as Miami would go on to win the game by a score of 20 – 14. To date, it is the only time the opposing head coaches from a college national championship football game each later served as head coach of the same professional football team….and won the Super Bowl with that Dallas Cowboys team.
The 1988 Orange Bowl featured “Game of the Century” type billing…..as the undefeated and top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners faced off against undefeated and second-ranked Miami for the national championship. Adding to the hype was the recent on-field history between the teams. Oklahoma was a dominant force in college football….after winning the national championship in 1985….and losing just one game in each of the preceding two years. Miami, though, had proven to be the thorn in Oklahoma’s side….as the Sooners’ losses in ’85 and ’86 had both come at the hands of Miami.
Now, with the national championship on the line….Miami sought to make it three-losses-in-three-years for Oklahoma….and also their first postseason bowl win under Jimmy Johnson….after three straight bowl losses….two in which they struggled and lost their chances to win the national championships. Further fuel for the fire was provided by the growing personal animosity between former Arkansas player Johnson and Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer, who was also a former Arkansas player on the same Razorback team.