Oklahoma Sooners (-8) vs Texas Longhorns
Horns down, Horns up, Horns sideways. Whatever way you put the Hookem’ sign, it’s not near as important as what will correspond on the field Saturday morning in Arlington. For the first time since 1923, OU-Texas football will not be played in Dallas’ Cotton Bowl but down the street at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. One of the most modern venues in college football, it will be awesome to see the crimson and orange inside Cowboys stadium.
There’s no Golden Hat on the line, but something even bigger. A Big 12 Championship Trophy and a possible ticket to the College Football Playoff for the Sooners. For Texas, their chance to win a Big 12 Championship Trophy and stop the Sooners from reaching the Playoff would mean more to them than another playoff appearance.
Texas has not won a Big 12 title since 2009, which is also the last time they played in a major bowl game. For them to win it and reach the Sugar Bowl against Georgia or Florida would be huge for their program and Tom Herman’s momentum. A loss only barely sets them back and likely puts them in the Sugar Bowl anyway if OU Makes the playoff, which makes them dangerous in a game they have little to lose and everything to gain.
JerryWorld in Arlington is the biggest and baddest american football arena in the world right now, and for these two teams to play there in a rematch from a game that came down to a game winning field goal, means the world for a rivalry (and conference) that has lost a little bit of luster. From 2000 to 2011, the winner of this game was a top ten team and often against a top ten team of the other opponent. Since 2011, no team that has entered the game in the top ten (OU everytime) has won it. If Texas wins, they’ll jump into the top ten and if OU wins its likely the top four for them.
The story and hype for this game writes itself without even mentioning the Big 12 shenanigans or Kyler Murray’s “no comment” on Sam Ehlinger’s playing ability. We don’t even have to mention Tom Herman has been accused of massage parlor prostitution or his “OK Cool, Hook Em” text sent back to his accuser. Nor do we have to mention Kyler Murray’s Heisman hopes, or Lincoln Riley’s chance for a fourth straight Big 12 title as a coach. That’s how exciting this game is. Not even the Big 12 can ruin it (despite their best efforts).