For the first time in years, the Red River Rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns will be a compelling game that needs our attention.
When you think of neutral-site rivalries, two immediately come to mind. No, we’re not talking about the Southwest Classic between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies in Jerryworld. We’re talking about Georgia/Florida and the Red River Rivalry.
While the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs will meet at newly christened TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville near Halloween, America will be getting the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas next Saturday. For the first time in at least half a decade, this Big 12 rivalry game deserves our undivided attention.
Texas is 4-1 for the first time since former head coach Mack Brown was leading the program in 2013. It’s been a rough last decade for the Longhorns, ever since Texas fell in the national title bout in 2009 to Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide.
With Tom Herman now as the main man in Austin, his group may have what it takes to knock off the kings of the Big 12 in Lincoln Riley’s Sooners. Oklahoma has won the Big 12 the last three seasons. The Sooners have made the College Football Playoff in two of the last three years.
Frankly, Oklahoma has taken advantage of the entire Big 12 with their arch rival Texas being down for most of this last decade. After falling to the Maryland Terrapins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on Labor Day Weekend, the Longhorns have rattled off four straight wins. This has helped them earn a rightful No. 18 ranking in the most recent AP Top 25 Poll.
Oklahoma remains the highest ranked team in the Big 12 at No. 6, with the West Virginia Mountaineers trailing them at No. 12 through Week 5. Overall, it feels like these three teams will ultimately decide who wins the Big 12 Championship. Of course, teams like the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Tech Red Raiders might have a thing or two to say about that.
However, besides pageantry and both teams being ranked at the time of the11:00 a.m. CT meeting next Saturday, this game between rivals Oklahoma and Texas has potentially major College Football Playoff implications.
Should Oklahoma get a win over a ranked Texas team, that only boost the Sooners’ resume should they be in the mix for the fourth year in a row. If Texas knocks off Oklahoma, then presumably both teams could be in the conversation should they win out. Texas would in theory have only one non-conference loss, while Oklahoma’s theoretical lone blemish would be to arch rival Texas.
If those scenarios play out, they will meet in Jerryworld (AT&T Stadium) in Arlington, Texas to play for a certain College Football Playoff berth. It will be interesting to see which conference, or conferences, are on the outside looking in at the 2019 Playoff.
We know that Oklahoma has been a Playoff staple. If Texas pulls off the upset, then maybe they are finally arriving under Herman? One thing is for sure. This is must-see television in Week 6 of the 2018 college football season. Kickoff from the Cotton Bowl in Dallas will be at 11:00 a.m. ET. FOX will have the national telecast.