Three weeks after it was reported that an agreement in principle had been reached, one of the greatest rivalries in the sport is officially back. Or, at least, it’s scheduled to be back.
Regardless, and in joint press releases, Nebraska and Oklahoma announced that the two schools have signed a contract for a home-and-home football series. The first game will be played Sept. 18, 2021, in Norman, while the second of the miniseries will be played in Lincoln Sept. 17, 2022.
That first game, incidentally, will be the 50th anniversary of the 1971 “Game of the Century” between the two schools. And, for those not old enough to remember that game, it’s described thusly in NU’s release:
The contest is the most famous in the series and generally regarded as one of the greatest games in college football history. Top-ranked Nebraska edged No. 2 Oklahoma, 35-31, in Norman and went on to capture its second straight national championship.
The rivalry had seemingly been dead after the Cornhuskers’ left the Big 12 for the Big Ten in July of 2011. Talks in recent months, however, led to the renewal.
“Our rivalry with Oklahoma has been one of the great traditional matchups in the history of college football,” Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said in a statement. “The games between the two schools were generally to decide a conference championship, and many times helped determine the national champion. Those matchups were always played with great intensity on the field, but with a great deal of respect from both sides and among the fan bases.
“I know our fans look forward to non-conference games against high-profile opponents like Oklahoma. I’m pleased we were able to finalize this series.”
OU leads the series 40-36-2 and holds a 23-16 edge in Norman. The two teams last met in the Big 12 championship game following the 2010 season, a 23-20 win for the Sooners.
“Classic rivalries like Oklahoma-Nebraska are part of college football’s historic fabric,” said OU athletic director Joe Castiglione. “The ability to rekindle a fabled series between two tradition-rich programs and two extremely loyal and passionate fan bases was very important to both universities. Playing marquee non-conference opponents remains an integral part of our scheduling philosophy. Games like Oklahoma-Nebraska embody all the qualities that make regular season Saturdays in college football matter to so many.”