NCAA Football: Texas State Fair, Fried Beer, OU Vs. UT at The Red River Rivalry

Lake CruiseAnalyst IOctober 2, 2010

The University of Texas Longhorns will face the University of Oklahoma Sooners in a recurrent football game known as the Red River Rivalry, a game almost as old as the states of Texas and Oklahoma, and this year's edition will be played today.

Kickoff is set for 2:30 pm CST, live on ABC, from the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.  The game is synonymous with the yearly Texas State Fair.

It is possible that this is one of the last installments to be played at the Cotton Bowl.  The game is under contract to be played there through 2015, and a move to the 100,000-seat Cowboys Stadium could very well happen after the contract is up.

In the interest of national health, the first thing that sports journalists covering this huge event must know is that everything is fried around these parts, including the beer. 

Not one individual I have spoken with can tell me exactly how beer is actually fried, but I hear that Texas-fried beer actually tastes a bit like chicken.

I’m not sure if I want to find out, but my question to my readers is, which fried delicacy would you prefer?  Oh, the choices are many:

Fried club salad, fried lemonade, fried chocolate, fried Texas caviar, deep-fried pop-tarts, deep-fried frozen margarita, fried peaches and cream, fried butter, fried moon pies, fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fried cookie dough and fried cheesecake.

The Texas Longhorns will need something cheesy and sweet from both tailback Tre Newton and quarterback Garrett Gilbert to beat the Oklahoma Sooners today. That’s a d’uh.

That’s right, America. Only in Dallas is one able to sample fried beer and watch one of the greatest college football rivalries of all time.

One can put on 6,000 calories before the game and burn them off during the game by cheering vociferously for the team of their high-calorie preference.  

I mean, this event is a potential bonanza for medical doctors and a huge setback for low-calorie diet proponents.  American Medical Association aid workers aside, where else would one want to be rather than at this game? 

If y’all ain’t here collecting calories and climbing y’all’s cholesterol rates, then I don’t know where y’all is at.

At least there is a healthy-diet menu offered with fried yogurt and fried turkey legs.  Unfortunately, the turkey legs are almost as big as Big Tex, the Fair’s 52 foot-high mascot.

It is fair to throw out the records in this annual football game. 

It’s been played for what seems like forever and the stadium always resembles both a sea of Longhorns burnt orange and Sooners big burgundy:  No black, no white, but split 50-50 and always sold out with fans from both teams jammed inside the 92,200-seat Cotton Bowl.

Teaming up for the firmly seated game, OU and UT will commence the 105th version of this entertaining classic also known as the Red River Shootout.

Last week Texas was shot off the BCS map by losing 34-12 in a game that underscores the actual domination handed out to the Longhorns by the unranked UCLA Bruins.

The beatdown from UCLA was UT’s worst loss since the “Red River Massacre”—a 63-13 pummeling from the then number one-ranked Sooners. Because the Bruins humiliated the Longhorns at home, the UCLA loss is even worse than the outcome of the 2003 Red River Shootout.

An aftereffect of the UCLA loss was the knee injury of Texas’ top receiver freshman Mike Davis.  He missed the second half of the UCLA debacle, and was ruled out for this week’s game.

Head coach Mack Brown suggested that his players get their swagger back—something he said they lacked against the Bruins. 

While undefeated (4-0) coming into this game, Oklahoma is the only ranked team giving up more yards per play (5.8) than they are gaining.  They have also given up 27 points a game this season. 

The Longhorns thus far this season have been poor candidates for the title of perennial powerhouse. 

The Sooners offense, however, has averaged 33 points a game this season.

Texas will go to the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers next, after a bye next week, to play a revenge game in the hostile confines of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Texas respects the Huskers as much as they respect the Sooners—if not more. 

Nebraska fans have always travelled as well as any NCAA football program in history.  When they invaded San Antonio for the Big 12 Championship game on December 4, 1999, they were equal in city presence with the Longhorns, who had only a 45-minute drive from Austin, Texas.

Nebraska beat Texas in that game 22-6.

The Cornhuskers are leaving the Big 12 after this season, and the Cornhuskers web page prominently displays the Big 10 Conference team’s logos and not much Big 12 information exists on the site. 

What better way to leave the Big 12 than with a revenge victory over the 2010 BCS representative from the Big 12—the team that Nebraska had the perfect opportunity to defeat last year.

Doubted by most all of the usual suspects, I expect Texas to respond as if Mack Brown were Davy Crockett and this game was the Battle of the Alamo.

Sooner tailback DeMarco Murray owned the Longhorns in this rivalry game during his freshman season (2007) by rushing 17 times for 128 yards and a touchdown, while leading the Sooners to a 28-21 victory.

The Sooners also have the nation’s top receiver in Ryan Broyles, and a solid quarterback in veteran Landry Jones.

Both teams travel about the same number of miles to play the game, but Oklahoma fans feel that the Longhorns have an advantage since the game is in, well, Texas.

Since the game was moved to a 2:30 pm CST start, Texas State Fair revelers have time to recuperate from the fried beer.

Who am I picking to win the game? Ask me that question after a few fried beers and find out if I’ll tell you then.

Oklahoma: 45-41.  Stay thirsty, my readers, stay thirsty.


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