The Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas is historically regarded as one of the best in all of college football. But once again this season, the game is lopsided in favor of the Sooners on paper.
Saturday’s showdown at the State Fair of Texas will mark the fifth straight season that a ranked Oklahoma team is facing an unranked Texas team in the rivalry game.
Texas has been ranked in the AP Top 25 for at least one week in multiple seasons during the stretch, but not for the annual October-matchup between two of college football’s biggest blue-bloods.
On the other hand, the Sooners have been ranked in each of the past 12 rivalry games — only entering the game unranked once in the last 18 meetings.
A rivalry in trouble?
Rivalries are often defined as two teams of equal-caliber going head-to-head. Clearly, that hasn’t been quite the case for the Red River Rivalry in recent years, given where the Sooners and Longhorns have wound up at the end of the season.
The streak of games favoring the Sooners is a little startling considering Oklahoma and Texas were both ranked entering the game for seven straight years prior to the 2013 meeting.
However, the true spirit of the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is far from being in danger.
Despite the favorable odds for Oklahoma in recent seasons, the last three meetings between the Sooners and Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl have all been decided by seven points. What’s even more — Texas defeated Oklahoma in both 2013 and 2015 despite being unranked at the time.
But just look at the fans on both sides, and that will tell you all you need to know about the rivalry — which is incredibly healthy despite Texas coming off one of its worst three-season stretches in program history.
Oklahoma shouldn’t be expecting the rivalry games to swing any further into its favor looking down the stretch either. Texas has already shown signs of improvement in 2017 after starting the year 1-2, and the recruiting scene in Austin suggests that the Longhorns could return to their glory days in due time.
For now, the Sooners walk into Dallas as the No. 12 team in the nation — set to face a Texas team still searching for its true identity this season. Rest assured though, anything is fair game when the Sooners and Longhorns battle it out at one of college football’s most historic venues.
The post Ranked Oklahoma to face unranked Texas for 5th straight rivalry game appeared first on Diehards.
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