What's So Great About The Red River Rivalry?

Burgess ShawCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2008

There are so many great rivalries is college football. You got Army-Navy, Notre Dame-USC, Ohio State-Michigan, The Border Showdown, and no one can ever forget about The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

So, what is so great about the Red River Rivalry. There are many reasons for why this rivalry is so huge, but here are three very BIG reasons.


1. Tradition of Oklahoma/Texas

The tradition of Oklahoma and Texas football is deep and rich. Oklahoma football has seven national championships and also 41 conference championships. OU also has 144 All-Americans and 4 Heisman Trophy winners. The Sooners hold an NCAA record 47-game winning streak and is the No. 1 of No. 1's with 96 weeks on top of the AP poll.

Texas also has a deep tradition in football. Texas has four national championships, 29 conference championships, and two Heisman Trophy winners. Texas also owns the Red River Rivalry series 57-40-5, but have lost 6 games since 2000.


2. Cotton Bowl

The second reason of why this game is so big is the atmosphere at the Cotton Bowl. Many teams have tried neutral field games, but none have topped the OU-Texas game at the Cotton Bowl.

The Cotton Bowl is right in the middle of the Texas State Fair. You have corny dogs, the midway, and all the fried foods that you can eat. When the buses roll in on that fateful Saturday, one side of the street there is OU fans putting the horns down and booing you if you're on the Texas bus.

The other side, Texas fans putting up the horns and booing you if you're on that OU bus. There is no other better feeling in the world as a fan of both teams.

Once you get into the Cotton Bowl stadium, you see what will now be about 92,000 people. One half of the stadium crimson and the other side burnt orange, divided at the 50-yard line. 

As a player, it seems like nothing, but as you come out of the tunnel you hear the fans of who ever own that side, be it OU or Texas fans. This kind of atmosphere can send chills down your spines. Nothing is better than the OU-Texas game at the Texas State Fair in the Cotton Bowl.


3. Big 12 and National Race

In recent history, the game has become a race for Big 12 and national contention. The winner of the game, since 1999, has gone to the Big 12 Championship game seven times. The only time that was different was Oklahoma going in 2006 after losing to Texas and Texas going in 2001 after losing to Oklahoma.

The teams have been so dominant in the Big 12 Championship game that OU or Texas have lost only three times. That would be Texas in 1999 to Nebraska, Texas in 2001 to Colorado, and Oklahoma to Kansas State in 2003. Every other champion has been to OU or Texas.

The national race also comes into play when OU and Texas have played. OU or Texas has played in the national championship four times. Those teams being OU in 2000, 2003, and 2004 and also Texas in 2005. Out of those games there has been 2 national championships between them. This year will just be as big since OU will go in ranked No. 1 and Texas will go into the game ranked No. 5.