DALLAS The 108th Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma was set to kick off at 11 a.m. at the historic Cotton Bowl in Fair Park and while there were thousands of fans packing the parking lots and surrounding streets, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that OU was going to have their way with UT.
Afterall, the Longhorns were unranked, having been crushed by BYU and Ole Miss and narrowly beating Iowa St. 31-30 and the No. 12 ranked Sooners were undefeated at 5-0.
I spoke to several Texas fans out in the parking lot and they were of the opinion that they hoped OU would win big to guarantee that Longhorns coach Mack Brown would be let go at season's end. I spotted a few orange shirts reading "Saban 2014" in hopes that Alabama head coach Nick Saban would abandon the Crimson Tide in favor of the University of Texas. Saban has led Alabama to three of the last four BCS National Championships. He also coached LSU to the national title in 2003.
Meanwhile, the OU fans I chatted with -- who still had last year's 63-21 victory fresh on their minds -- were all hopeful Brown would stay at Texas for the next decade. Several of the crimson-colored tees had the words "Keep Mack" emblazoned across them while one attractive woman had on a shirt that said 'Too Sexy to be a Longhorn.'
One of the cooler aspects of the Red River Rivalry game is its traditional seating split at the 50-yard line rather than the end zones. Longhorns fans occupy the north end of the Cotton Bowl with Sooners fans owning the south end. Word coming into the game was the secondary ticket market saw very little interest in the Texas section as a direct result of the fan base being so upset with the team having a down season, but the two-touchdown underdog never trailed in the game en route to an impressive 36-20 win. The triumph broke the Sooners three-game winning streak in the series and was the first win over OU for this year's UT senior class.
You shouldn't leave this school without beating Oklahoma. You need to do that," Brown said after the game. "This thing goes in streaks. And I guess we've won five of the last nine now. For you that's counting."
Oklahoma hopes to bounce back next week with a trip up to Lawrence to battle the Kansas Jayhawks. Following a bye week, the Longhorns return to DFW as they will be 38.6 miles west of the Cotton Bowl to take on the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth on October 26.
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