Run and Shoot: Texas-OU: Football's Best Rivalry

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Texas-OU: Football's Best Rivalry

DALLAS, TX -- Texas and Oklahoma will be kicking off soon, the 102nd renewal of the best rivalry game in college football.

That's right -- the best rivalry game in college football.

Sorry, Ohio State and Michigan. No way, Southern Cal and Neutered Dame. Get serious, Alabama and Auburn. Texas-OU matches the hatred and intensity of any of those games, with the added bonus of the greatest setting imaginable.

Since 1912, the Sooners have made the 200-mile drove south on I-35 and the Longhorns have made the 200-mile drive north on I-35 to meet in Dallas.

Since 1929, the game has been played at the Cotton Bowl, with tickets split right down the 50-yard line, red shirts to the north, and orange shirts on the south side of the stadium.

Even better, the backdrop for the game is the Texas State Fair, which makes the trip a blast even if you don't even make it into the game.

52-feet tall Big Tex welcomes all:


In the old days, the Fair was primarily a livestock show, and still offers a wide selection of animals to see. There are Buick-sized brahma bulls:


And some critters that you never thought you'd see together.


The corny dog was also invented/debuted at the fair, and true to its heritage, the fair has every type of fried food you can imagine:


Here's the fried PB&J sandwhich, which checks in at about 42,000 calories and 763 grams of fat:


(I had the fried cookie dough, which was pretty doggone good. Came with a coupon for $100 off the deluxe angioplasty, too.)

After you've filled your gut with fried food, you can toss it up on hundreds of rides:


Or you can people-watch, which is especially interesting on Texas-OU day.


And I didn't know this until today, but Jim Delaney, the man responsible for the BCS system, even has an office here:


It would seem tough for a game to top that backdrop, but Texas and OU are historical heavyweights. On the all-time NCAA winning percentage list, the Longhorns check in 3rd and the Sooners show up 5th.

Today's the 31st time both teams enter the game nationally-ranked, including the 7th time since 2000.

Today's game is especially important, because both teams were shocked in their Big XII openers last week. The loser today will drop to 0-2 in conference play and will likely be eliminated from conference title contention.

The two teams have to enter this game with different mindsets, though.

Oklahoma has to be angry. The Sooners crushed their first four opponents by a combined score of 246-47. Last week they cruised into a 24-7 lead at Colorado early in the third quarter, but a total team collapse allowed the Buffs to score 20 unanswered, including the winning field goal on the final play of the game. Coming into the season, the scouting report on the Sooners was that they were loaded with talent at every position except QB. Redshirt freshman Sam Bradford, however, has answered the QB questions by passing for 1179 yards so far and completing 72% of his passes.

19th-ranked Texas matches OU's 4-1 record, but the Longhorns have struggled much more than anyone expected, including way-too-close wins over Arkansas State and Central Florida. Their house of cards fell apart last week, as Kansas State scored TDs on punt, kickoff, and interception returns in a 41-21 stunner in Austin. UT fans expected QB Colt McCoy to be a huge team leader this season, but he threw four picks last week, running his season total to nine, two more than he threw all of last season. He also suffered a mild concussion, and though he has been cleared to play today, we'll be watching him closely.

Last year OU committed a flood of turnovers in a 28-10 loss to Texas, and more turnovers might be in store again today, as the weather in Dallas has been drizzly all day. The sun just peeked out for the first time today, though, so maybe we'll dry up.

The winner stays alive in the Big XII South, while the losers will have to drown their sorrows in fried foods and beverages after the game. Kickoff at 2:30 central. I'll be back with updates later.

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