Whether or not you are a fan of the Oklahoma Sooners or the Nebraska Cornhuskers, exciting news was announced in the college football world on Tuesday: Oklahoma and Nebraska have tentatively agreed to meet again in 2021-2022. This is a great decision for both universities to bring back some of that old tradition of college football. These two teams have met 86 times, and the Sooners hold on to the series 45-38-3.
The first game is said to take place in Norman and will mark the 50th anniversary of the famous “Game of the Century.” Sorry Alabama and LSU fans, the Huskers and the Sooners played it first. Nebraska won the first game of the century, 35-31 in Norman, but the game sparked a head-to-head rival between the two teams for the remainder of the Big 8‘s existence. The long-time rivalry between Oklahoma and Nebraska died down some when the Southwest Conference and the Big 8 merged and the two teams only played every other year.
When Nebraska announced that they we leaving the Big XII to head to the B1G back in 2010, I was one of those people who was upset about it. I come from and grew up in a Big 8/Southwest Conference household and to see that tradition going away, it completely changed the dynamic of Oklahoma’s football seasons going forward for me. I know a lot of fans disagree with me, but it changed the face of the Big XII. It was only fitting for the Sooners and the Huskers to play in the final Big XII championship. While teams like Texas had Texas A&M, the Sooners had Nebraska. And with the magic of realignment, the Aggies and the Longhorns don’t even have each-other anymore, not that I think either side misses the other.
Tom Osborne, the Nebraska athletic director, is retiring in January and told local newspapers that one of the last things he wanted to do while on the job was the bring this game back, if only for a home and home series. Between him and Barry Switzer, they are the ones that made that game what is was. With Switzer’s outspoken nature and the Osborne’s straight-laced demeanor, these two may have been less than cordial to one another, but there was obviously a huge respect.
Switzer on bringing the game back:
I think it would be a neat deal. They used to be so damn good when Tom was there. We had to play Texas as a non-conference, and for them to swap now, with Texas as a conference and have to play Nebraska as a non-conference — makes it kind of about what it used to be on the schedule.
There has even been some predictions saying the Sooners and the Huskers could meet up in a bowl game if both teams win out so this match-up may come sooner than 2021. I know that is something that both fanbases have been clamoring for since the Big XII Championship.
No matter what you think of either team or just don’t think about them at all, tradition in college football has become a lost art. Tradition is what makes the game we love so great. With all the conference realignment and money exchanging hands to play non-conference games, having a match-up like this come back on the scene is only good for the game. One of the best rivalry games of all-time is back, if even for 2 years.