The storied Nebraska-Oklahoma Big Eight rivalry took a sizable hit upon the formation of the Big 12 and the two schools being placed in separate divisions. The rivalry then took what was perceived to be a near-fatal blow when the Cornhuskers decided to accept an invitation and move on to the Big Ten next season.
However, and while a significant period of hibernation is in the offing, the classic match-up ain’t quite dead just yet.
The athletic directors at both schools — Nebraska’s Tom Osborne, Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione — have told USA Today that there have been discussions regarding a future home-and-home series between the longtime rivals. The series could be played in 2020 and 2021, although Berry Tramel of Tulsa World writes that the series could take place in 2021 and 2022.
Either way, it appears that, if this were to get done, the 2021 game would be played in Norman as that year would mark the 50th anniversary of the Cornhuskers’ classic 35-31 win over the Sooners on the same field.
It appears, though, there’s still some work to do in order for this to become a done deal.
“But we can’t make a decision until we know if the Big Ten is going from eight conference games to nine,” Osborne said. “Once that shakes out, we’ll see what we can work out.”
(It’s curious that Osborne would say if the Big Ten goes to nine conference games; it’s been widely reported that it’s all but a done deal the conference adds a game to their current eight-game slate in 2015. Is there an unreported movement afoot to keep the future conference schedule at its current number?)
Based on the way the season has gone thus far, there’s a fairly decent chance that the two schools could very well face each other in the final Big 12 title game. If either stubs their toe along the way, Nov. 7, 2009, could be the final time the rivals square off on the gridiron for a very, very long time.
And it will also mean that the Sooner faithful will retain the right to lord their advantage over Husker Nation for a, very long time as well as OU leads the series 44-38-3.