It’s time to throw out all the records. Forget the Iowa State loss, forget Heisman hopes, forget recovering in the Playoff hunt, forget the Big 12 race. The only thing that matters is keeping that damn Golden Hat. The only thing that matters this week is beating the fucking Longhorns in the Red River Shootout (Not Red River Rivalry or Showdown; Shootout is the coolest name and the only one recognized by The Schooner Blog; OU-Texas is an okay substitute).
In a weird way, this loss has given an edge to a rivalry that has gotten stale the past few years. Since Texas has been a complete trash heap the past few years, the general feeling going into the game is “OU should blow them out, anything less than that is a massive letdown”. And, as OU has done the past four season, they usually allow Texas to play them closer than the records reflect. Not only that, but they have split the series at 2-2, despite always being ranked higher than the Longhorns. Even when OU would win, there was a different air to the victory. Beating Texas should be a triumph, not a relief.
Now, Texas has returned to being somewhat respectable. With Oklahoma’s mystifying loss last weekend, this feels like a high stakes matchup once again.
Who are the Longhorns?
As a Sooner fan, these guys are simply the absolute worst. Just seeing the burnt orange steer logo makes my stomach churn. Even though Texas Football has become a bit of a meme in recent years, I can’t help but think of Vince Young, the Shipley and McCoy (especially fucking Case) brothers and all those 2000’s Texas teams. The echo of the Texas side yelling “Give ’em hell, give ’em hell, OU SUCKS” after so many Texas touchdowns is probably etched into my brain forever.
This season’s Texas team appears to have made a turn towards the better, even with the hilarious home loss to Maryland (seems a lot less hilarious right now honestly). On top of the big moral victory at USC, Texas is actually beating teams they should beat now, a step up for the program. Hell, if the season ended today, they would be in Arlington facing TCU in the Big 12 Championship.
New head coach Tom Herman seems to have found his quarterback in Sam Ehlinger, who showed out in clutch performances against USC and Kansas State. The Texas defense looks like one of the best in the Big 12. Two losses be damned, this is a good Longhorn team and one to be feared.
Last Time We Met: October 8th, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. OU 45, UT 40
As is recent tradition in the Red River Shootout, this one lived up the name. After a slow start and two questionable interceptions, Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma offense rolled over Texas with Dede Westbrook exploding for 235 yards and three touchdowns. The only problem with this is Texas’ offense was able to capitalize off the two interceptions as well as the two additional fumbles Oklahoma lost, as well as breaking off several big plays on the Sooners. Eventually, OU was able to hold off the Longhorns, but not before a bizarre last ditch lateral attempt that might have lasted an hour.
One of the best nights of the year as a Sooner. Some believe this is where the real battle is one. There are endless options in Dallas, but I recommend Uptown as the place to be. Whatever you do, do something. The only way to screw this one up is to do stay in bed and do nothing.
The State Fair of Texas:
One of the best and most unique traditions in college football is walking through the awesomeness that is the State Fair of Texas. In case you live under a rock or just aren’t aware, the Cotton Bowl is located right in the middle of the Fair, meaning you need to go into the fair to get to the game. Unless you have a heart of stone or the biggest cynic on Earth, you will want to explore this place. Tailgates and getting blackout drunk are fun and all, but the atmosphere of the State Fair is one of the best parts of OU-Texas weekend; so good, that it’s getting it’s own article. Look for that later.
Cotton Bowl Stadium:
These days, the good old Cotton Bowl doesn’t get much use. With the super-flashy AT&T Stadium in Arlington taking most of the big local games in Dallas (including the Cotton Bowl game, literally named after this stadium), the main purpose for this behemoth of a stadium is to host the Red River Shootout. That being said, this game being anywhere but here is a both a sin and probably inevitable. Enjoy it while it lasts.
This is the easiest seating map to explain. OU fans are always on the South end of the stadium, Texas fans are always on the North end (with weird little pockets of Sooner fans at the top and bottom of section 117 to make up for displaced seats in the 2008 renovation). I HIGHLY recommend trying to get on the OU end. In high school, me and some friends arrogantly got tickets in the Texas endzone because
- they were cheaper
- we thought we would kill them
It was a disaster. The 3-2, unranked Longhorns (hmm.) ROLLED all over the #12 Sooners (HMM.) in one a frustrating loss for an Oklahoma team that started out with promise after a big non-conference win (HMMMMMMMMM). The thought of Case McCoy wearing the Golden Hat never fails to make me bitter.
Learn from my mistakes. Just sit on the South side.
Whatever you do, DO NOT DRIVE. Not only is traffic driving into Fair Park is the 8th circle of hell, but parking is overpriced and located in one of the worst areas of Dallas. If you are staying in Downtown Dallas, Fair Park is a hike. I recommend using the DART light rail system to get to the game. You can get a day pass for just 5 bucks so you don’t even need to worry about high Uber and Lyft surges. Plus, they route the trains intentionally to focus on the heavy OU-Texas traffic area, so it’s easily the best option.