In 1889, the Indian Territory was opened to settlers. Thousands of people lined up on the border and, when the signal was given, they raced into the territory to claim their land. Some people went in early to claim their land. They became known as Sooners. Hence, Oklahoma's nickname today is “The Sooner State”.
The school is ranked first per capita among public universities in enrollment of National Merit Scholars and among the top ten in the graduation of Rhodes Scholars.
The school, well known for its athletic programs, has won 7 NCAA Division I National Football Championships. Its baseball team has won 2 NCAA national championships and the women's softball team won the national championship in 2000.
The gymnastics teams have won four national championships since 2002 and its football program has the best winning percentage of any Division I -FBS team since the introduction of the AP Poll in 1936, playing in four BCS national championship games since the inception of the BCS system in 1998.
The university's first president, David Ross Boyd , arrived in Norman in August 1892 and the first students enrolled that year