The Oklahoma Sooners, throughout history, have been one of the greatest college football programs ever.
With seven national championships and 42 conference titles, almost no other program has been able to match the degree of success that the Sooners have been able to achieve over the years.
Players and coaches have come and gone at Oklahoma, as they have at any program throughout the country. However, there is one thing that has remained constant through every bit of turnover.
Oklahoma can't stand Texas.
Obviously, everyone knows about the Red River Rivalry between OU and the University of Texas.
It's one of the greatest rivalries in college football with one of the greatest scenes as well: historic Cotton Bowl Stadium split right down the 50-yard line. One half of the stadium burnt orange and the other crimson.
Not only is there a rivalry between the schools, but Oklahomans in general don't really have a great appreciation for the state of Texas or its residents.
I actually discovered this through my girlfriend, a native Oklahoman, who really couldn't care less about how great people say Texas is.
Texans have been long known for the enormous amount of state pride that they possess. Texans will be very quick to point out that no other state in the Union gets to fly their state flag at an equal level of the United States flag.
And who could forget the great slogan, "Don't Mess With Texas?" This slogan was actually first used as an anti-littering campaign, but was quickly picked up for use in many other capacities.
Having lived in Texas for six years of my life and experienced all of these things, I must say that I enjoyed the pride that Texans had in their state. It was very cool to see how proud people were to call themselves not only Americans, but Texans.
Anyway, regardless of what Oklahomans feel about Texas or the people that inhabit it, they do owe the state they loath a big hearty thank you for one undeniable fact.
Texas high schools produce some darn good football players.
Over the past several years, Oklahoma has been one of many schools that have benefited from having these darn good football players on their team.
This year, out of the current 124 players that are on the roster for Oklahoma football, 55 are from Texas. For you people who are a bit slow on the math, that's 44.3 percent.
Almost HALF of a state school's roster is from another state.
In 2010, Oklahoma signed 10 of the top 75 players in Texas according to Texas Football magazine. They also signed 17 total Texas players and only four Oklahomans.
Seventeen from another state to four from the home state?!
Obviously, the proximity between the two states plays a very large part in that statistic, as well as the sheer number of Texas high school football players there are. Not all of them can play at in state schools. There simply isn't room.
However, that statistic is still absolutely ridiculous, at least to this writer anyway. It is also a reflection on the entire student population in Norman.
That's the main reason people sometimes refer to OU as UT Norman, a name myself and many others take as highly offensive.
There really is nothing like Texas high school football, whether it be passion, stadium sizes, number of schools, players, etc.
It's the massive size of the state that gives Texas the title of biggest producer of high school talent.
In 2010, 360 players from Texas high schools signed with Division I schools, more than any state in the country. Add on the 27 junior college players that signed and that brings the total to 387.
California and Florida were the next two states that produced the most talent.
Not only are the numbers of players produced ridiculous, but the passion for football is also through the roof.
At many of the larger and more historic programs, and especially in the small towns around the state, high school football is second only to Jesus. The passion is shown not only in the commitment the fans have to the teams, but also in the amount of money that is thrown at the football programs.
Take for example, Allen High School. Allen is a suburb on the north side of Dallas. The school board for the district recently approved a bond project for a $60 million stadium.
Yes, you read that right. $60 MILLION for an 18,000 seat high school stadium.
Here's a link to the proposed stadium plans.
Allen isn't alone in the size and luxury department either. While not every stadium costs that much or seats that many people, stadiums costing $30 million plus and seating 10,000 or more are quite normal to see in Texas.
If you want to see more examples, follow this link to a list of all the high school stadiums in Texas built since 2005.
Texas may be loathed by many Oklahomans, but there is no denying the talent that the state has produced that has allowed the Sooners to be highly successful over the years.
So we tip our caps to you, Texas, for your wonderful provision.
May we use that talent to kick your burnt orange gluteus maximii on Oct. 2nd.