Oklahoma and Alabama have been mainstays on the college football landscape for as long as most fans can remember.
When making a short list of the best programs in the country in terms of history, tradition and success on the field, these two teams definitely make the cut.
They boast passionate fans and state of the art facilities.
They both have produced their share of iconic figures, such as Alabama's own Joe Namath.
Broadway Joe led the Tide to to the NC in 1964 and then the 1969 New York Jets to victory in Super Bowl III, after he called his shot and delivered against the Colts.
Oklahoma can counter with Brian Bosworth.
The Boz is the only two-time winner of the Butkus Award and the man who wore a t-shirt on the sidelines of the 1987 Orange Bowl sporting the anti-NCAA slogan of "National Communists Against Athletes." He wisely decided to enter the draft soon after.
The Crimson Tide regularly sells out the 102K seat Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, which ranks as the seventh largest non-racing facility in the world.
Oklahoma has a huge waiting list of fans eager to snatch up season tickets and game day passes for each game hosted at their own 82K capacity Memorial Stadium, the 14th largest stadium in America.
These heavyweights are among the most successful programs in college football history, with the stats and hardware to back them up.
Though separated from each other by half a continent, these two Crimson giants have more in common than a shared color scheme. In fact, outside of their respective conferences, these teams resemble each other in more ways than they do any other program.
Fans of these programs need not look in a mirror to see a reflection of the excellence these teams embody.
Both schools started playing way back in the 1890's, with Alabama first fielding a team three years before the Sooners' first season.
The Alabama "Varsity" played their first ever game against a team from Birmingham in November of 1892 , defeating the high school players 56-0.
They first adopted the moniker Crimson Tide in 1907, the same year Oklahoma became a state.
Alabama played but one game from 1897-1898 because of new campus rules that restricted student athletes from traveling off campus before resuming regular play again 1899.
They won their first conference championship in the Southern Conference in 1924 and have never looked back.
The Tide captured its first national title the next year in a come from behind Rose Bowl victory over Washington to finish at 10-0.
The University of Oklahoma football team began play in 1895, failing to record a first down and losing to an Oklahoma City club team by the score of 34-0.
The Oklahoma "Varsity" players, who for the most part did not even attend the school, only managed to finish the game by borrowing opposing players as they were soundly beaten about the field.
OU won their first conference title back in 1915 in the Southwest Conference after finishing 10-0 on the season.
The Sooners, as they were now called, marched to their first national championship in 1950, despite losing in the Sugar Bowl to a Kentucky team coached by Bear Bryant, as voting took place before the bowl games at that time.
Alabama has also won a pair of titles despite losing bowl games, forcing changes in both the AP (1965) and the Coaches (1974) to delay voting on subsequent polls until after the bowl season had been completed.
The Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama is a powerful program, rolling over opponents and claiming a staggering 13 national championships.
Though some of these claimed titles are questionable, Bama does have an indisputable eight NC's from either the AP or Coaches poll since 1946, when the modern era of college football began with the end of WWII.
They are also recognized by the NCAA for an additional four NC's that are not claimed by the University.
Alabama has had some impressive dominant eras, such as from 1925-1941, when the team claimed five national championships.
They followed this up 20 years later by collecting six championships from 1961-1979.
Alabama recently won its latest title in 2009 by defeating the Texas Longhorns in the BCS Championship Game.
OU has won seven NC's since 1950 and have been awarded nine additional titles from polling organizations that are not claimed by the school, for a record total of 16 NCAA recognized titles in the modern era.
The Sooners also have had dominating eras of their own, winning three championships from 1950-1956 and another three from 1974-1985.
Oklahoma won its most recent in 2000, as the top ranked Sooners used a smothering defense to subdue the favored and defending champions from Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
Both of these juggernauts have captured titles in multiple conferences.
The University of Oklahoma boasts 43 conference championships in football, including an amazing 14 straight from 1946-1959.
They have won these titles in three separate leagues, the Southwest, the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate and in some form of the Big 12.
The Big Six (five titles), the Big Seven (10), Big Eight (17) and Big 12 (seven) were all versions of the same conference that started in 1929.
The Sooners have an overall conference record of 441-140-22 (74.9 percent), while outscoring opponents by an average of 28-13.
In the recently demised 12 team configuration of the Big12 conference, the Sooners had more titles than the next three conference members combined.
Alabama has 26 overall championships in two conferences, with 22 of those coming since the Southeastern Conference was established in 1933.
The Tide have a record of 419-195-27 (67.5 percent) against the members of the SEC and firmly own the best record in every matchup.
Their in-state rival and residing national champion cousins from Auburn have the best conference winning percentage against Bama, but still trail 40-34 in the overall series.
Tennessee comes next with 38 victories to 47 for the boys from Tuscaloosa.
Kentucky has endured the most futility, having won only twice in 38 attempts against Alabama.
The University of Oklahoma holds a slight advantage in all-time victories, with an overall mark of 811-304-53 for a .717 winning percentage.
The Sooners also lead the nation with the most victories in the modern era, sporting a record of 567-172-13 at a .763 winning pace since 1946.
Oklahoma holds the all-time longest win streak in the FBS at 47 straight victories between 1953-1957.
The team in Crimson and Cream also continue the nation's longest current home field win streak at 36 games and counting.
Alabama has a recognized record of 802-319-43 (70.7 percent), but an actual overall record on the field of 831-310-44 (71.9 percent).
This discrepancy is in part due to nine games forfeited in 1993 and 21 victories vacated from the 2005-2007 seasons.
The Tide boast a nation best 22 win streaks of 10 games and 16 more 10-0 starts to a season.
Both teams have been successful in winning a plethora of games in numerous years, with Alabama having 31 10 win seasons.
Oklahoma counters with a national leading 32 10 win seasons, in addition to the record for 11 win seasons, 20 and counting.
The Crimson Tide have played in and won more bowls than any other program, sporting a record of 33-22-3 in 58 appearances.
Their winning percentage of 56.9 in these games proves that they can take on the best and give out better than they get.
Bama's streak started in the 1926 Rose Bowl victory over Washington, on the way to their first NC.
Their latest victory was a dominating 49-7 'pansing' of Big Ten co-champion Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl to end the 2010-11 season.
Oklahoma trails the Tide with a mark of 26-17-1 in their 44 bowl games, but have the slightly better winning percentage of 59.
They lost their first game in 1939 to Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, but then proceeded to emerge victorious in seven out of their next eight postseason games.
Recent struggles have plagued the Sooners in bowl matchups, only going 6-6 in the last 12 seasons.
While five of these losses have come in BCS games, three of those were losses in the title game to the eventual national champion.
OU recently put its BCS demons to rest while defeating an over matched Big East champion UConn team in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.
Both of these powerhouse programs are accustomed to riding high in the polls.
Alabama was the top ranked team heading into the 2010 season, sporting a shiny a 13 game winning streak.
Though the Tide did not live up to those lofty expectations, they are no stranger to the praise that comes with being a highly ranked team.
Despite losing some key players, most prognosticators have Bama penciled in as a preseason top 5 team heading into next year.
Oklahoma was also top ranked for a short period last year after checking in at No. 1 in the very first BCS poll.
The Sooners hold records for most weeks at the top of the AP (97) and BCS (19) polls. They also lead in all-time top 5 rankings in both polls and their average season-ending rank of 7.33 is the best mark in football.
OU is currently a consensus pick for the No. 1 team in the nation heading into the 2011 season.
With the head coaches these schools employ, neither program looks to be going anywhere for a long time.
A player from Oklahoma has won the Heisman Trophy Award five separate times and finished in the top two on five additional occasions. In addition, in 24 seasons, an OU player has finished in the top 10 of the voting.
The Sooners also claim 152 All-American honors, with 74 being consensus and 31 unanimous picks, both marks tops in the country.
They have had numerous national award winners besides the Heisman with the Outland Trophy (five), four each of the Butkus, O'Brien and Camp awards, three more of both the Lombardi and Thorpe, two each Nagurskis and Maxwells and one each Bednarik, Unitas and Tatupu.
Oklahoma is the only school to have three former players chosen within the first four picks, after accomplishing this in the 2010 NFL draft.
The Crimson and Cream also have had an outstanding 448 All-Conference picks in its history.
Alabama may only have one Heisman winner, Mark Ingram in 2009, but they have had a player finish in the top five on 11 other occasions.
The Tide have had 114 honors for first team All-Americans with 44 consensus picks. They have had 12 players honored twice and two others have been three times selected.
In addition, Bama recently was the first school with six first team All-Americans in the same season, having accomplished this in 2009 to go with a national title.
They have two Butkus and Outland Awards, plus one each of the Thorpe, Lombardi, Lott, Baugh and Unitas.
Alabama has had an impressive 274 All-Conference players in its history.
The Crimson Tide has had 19 players inducted into the Hall of Fame, while Oklahoma has 18 of their own.
It's safe to say these schools both know how to recruit and develop the best talent around.
Neither of these programs could have risen to the top without the efforts of some outstanding coaches roaming the sidelines.
Alabama has four different coaches in the Hall of Fame and Oklahoma has five. That says a lot right there.
Oklahoma is the only program with four different coaches to reach the 100 win plateau, with the likes of Benny Owen, Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer.
Owen, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the inaugural year of 1951, in the same class as Walter Camp, Knute Rockne and Fielding Yost, in addition to Bama's own Don Hutson and Frank Thomas, has the Sooners home field named after him.
Wilkinson and Switzer both won three national titles in their combined 32 years on campus.
Then there is Alabama, the school that had the iconic Paul "Bear" Bryant roaming the sidelines for 26 seasons while bringing home six titles of his own.
Bryant achieved an outstanding record of 232-46-9 at Bama and finished with 323 victories for his career.
From 1923-1931, Tide coach Wallace Wade won three national titles and put Alabama on the map before leaving to coach at Duke. What was he thinking?
Though both schools have had brief periods of football futility, they always seem to rise up again like a River Phoenix from the ashes. Or something like that.
After head coach Barry Switzer was forced to resign after the 1987 season, Oklahoma went on a long penalty induced funk that was not ended until Bob Stoops was hired as head coach in 1999.
This sojourn through the wilderness ended with the firing of John Blake after three fruitless and excruciating seasons for Sooner fans.
Since that time, Coach Stoops has guided OU back to prominence, as evidenced by his seven Big 12 titles in eight appearances to go along with the team's four NC Game appearances and eight total BCS bowl games.
Alabama was lost for awhile themselves after Gene Stallings left town in 1996 and sanctions hit the program, falling on hard times with intolerable losing seasons.
Since Nick Sabans was hired in 2007, the Tide have re-established themselves at the top of the SEC pecking order.
Saban brought home the latest title to the school and has the program primed for numerous other championship runs in the future.
With Oklahoma's Stoops only a few seasons away from taking over the all-time win mark at the school and the Crimson Tide back to crushing opponents under Saban's tutelage, the future looks very bright for both programs.
It's hard to believe these powerful teams have clashed so few times. It's not like they play in separate countries and neither can say the other is not a worthy opponent.
Despite the long and storied histories of both programs, they have met only three times on the field.
Oklahoma holds a 2-1 advantage, having won two straight in a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003.
With Oklahoma going to a nine game conference schedule and both programs having an non-conference schedule set years in advance, the odds of them meeting again soon are unlikely.
That is too bad for the fans, as both sides expressed admiration for the other after the series.
Some way should be found to match these behemoths more frequently than once every 35 years.
They are similar in so many aspects and it would make for an epic matchup that all of college football would relish to see.
Maybe there is some hope, though.
With both programs riding high and likely starting out next season ranked accordingly, could a Sooner vs. Tide game be on the horizon in next years BCS Championship Game?
We'll have to wait another year to find out.