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Red River Shootout: A Brief Look at The History Of The Oklahoma-Texas Rivalry

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Red River Shootout:  A Brief Look at The History Of The Oklahoma-Texas Rivalry
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Oklahoma. Texas.  

Just simply saying the names of those two schools together immediately brings to mind images of intensity, passion, and dislike.  

Every year, these two great and historic programs converge in Dallas for one of the greatest rivalries in college football, in certainly the most unique setting.  There is nothing like the scene at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park in Dallas.  92,000+ screaming fans split right down the 50-yard line.  Half crimson, half burnt orange.  

On Saturday, the 105th edition of this great rivalry will take place on the green grass of the Cotton Bowl amidst all the fanfare of the Texas State Fair.  Since 1929, this has been the location for the epic clash of college football titans.

Texas leads the overall series 59-40-5 and has won four of the last five matchups between the two teams.  

However, this rivalry has been defined by streaks on both sides.  Before this most recent Texas streak, Oklahoma had won five straight, including two massacres in 2000, 63-14, and in 2003, 65-13.  

In Dallas, the Longhorns lead the series 46-36-4. Since 1945, the year many consider the beginning of the modern era of college football, Texas owns only a 33-29-3 lead in the series. 

So the series has been much more competitive since the modern era began, but no one will deny the Longhorn's dominance early on.  The Sooners only won 11 meetings between 1900 and 1947.  

 

With both Oklahoma and Texas being such dominant forces on the college football landscape, the intensity of the game is understandably high.  

Since 1945, one or both of the teams has been ranked coming into the game for a total of 60 out of 65 games.  Six of the past ten seasons have featured one of these teams in the BCS national championship game.  2000, 2003, 2004, and 2008 for Oklahoma and 2005 and 2009 for Texas.

While every game in this series has been one that had much emotion and many storylines, there are several that stick out in particular.  

In 1958, Darrell Royal finally broke through against former coach and mentor Bud Wilkinson with a 15-14 victory, breaking the Sooners' streak of six straight and nine of the previous ten.  

In 1976, President Ford attended the game and saw a 6-6 tie.  The main storyline was the accusations from Royal that OU coach Barry Switzer had been spying on his practices leading up to the game.  

1994 saw Texas defensive lineman Stoney Clark stop Oklahoma running back James Allen at the goal line on fourth down to preserve a Texas victory.  However, two years later Allen got his revenge by scoring the winning touchdown in a 30-27 overtime victory.  

Superman made an appearance in 2001 in the form of OU safety Roy Williams.  Williams' play of flying over the Texas offensive line and knocking the ball from quarterback Chris Simms' hand into the waiting arms of linebacker Teddy Lehman will forever be etched in the minds of fans of both schools as one of the most amazing plays in the history of the rivalry.  

 

Most recently, fans have been treated to matchups involving two of the greatest quarterbacks in NCAA history in Colt McCoy for Texas and Sam Bradford for Oklahoma.  

McCoy prevailed 2-1 in head-to-head matchups between the two, but all three matchups were fantastic games that came down to the end.  Bradford's 2009 appearance was cut short when he re-injured the shoulder he hurt against BYU when he was sacked by Texas' Aaron Williams.

The 2010 edition of this great rivalry is one that is extremely difficult to gauge.  Neither team comes in flying extremely high.  Oklahoma, while 4-0 and ranked #8 on the year, has not been playing up their potential, and has a lot of questions, particularly in the running game and on defense.  Texas, on the other hand, was flat out embarrassed by UCLA at home this past week and has dropped to #21 in the latest AP poll.

Regardless of rankings and the level of play coming in, this will be a knockdown, drag out football game.  These teams come to Dallas not just to win a football game.  They come for a years worth of bragging rights and for pride.  They also come for the inside track to a Big 12 South championship and for a leg up in the national championship race.  

The Red River Rivalry is one of the greatest rivalries in sports and Saturday's game will just be another chapter.  Whether your color is crimson or burnt orange, it's the greatest feeling in the world when your team beats the others

At the Cotton Bowl Saturday, 50% of the stadium will go home happy and 50% will go home disappointed.   But since you're at the state fair, may as well grab a deep-fried Oreo to alleviate the pain!

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