The Texas-Oklahoma game is the biggest annual sporting event in the state of Texas, and has lived up to that billing for the last decade in a half. Either the Longhorns or the Sooners have been entered the game ranked for the 17th consecutive seasons, and both squads have been ranked 12 times in those seven years.
Beyond that, four of the past 14 meetings have seen both squads ranked inside the top five. Not only is it the biggest game in Texas, it’s often the biggest game in the country.
That, however, will not be the case this coming Saturday. Oklahoma heads to the Cotton Bowl ranked 11th nationally, smarting after Saturday’s 37-33 loss to then No.25 and current No. 9 TCU. And they’re in much better shape than their Red River counterparts, who arrive Saturday at 2-3 on the year and fresh off a 28-7 loss to No. 5 Baylor. The days of Mack Brown vs. Bob Stoops, Chris Simms vs. Roy Williams, Vince Young vs. Adrian Peterson and Colt McCoy vs. Sam Bradford are gone, in favor of the much less anticipated duel between Trevor Knight and Tyrone Swoopes.
Coincidentally, No. 9 TCU visits No. 5 Baylor an hour and a half south of Dallas in what will be the undoubtedly the state’s biggest game of the day – and the second biggest game nationally behind No. 2 Auburn at No. 3 Mississippi State.
As if that wasn’t enough, Texas-OU isn’t even the second biggest game in the state of Texas on Saturday. That distinction goes to No. 3 Ole Miss at No. 14 Texas A&M Saturday night in College Station.
What used to be the state and the Big 12 Conference’s biggest game of the season is now just the third biggest game of October 11.
Oh, how times have changed.