DALLAS – Earlier this week Texas coach Charlie Strong said when it comes to Oklahoma and Texas playing in the Cotton Bowl, you can “throw out the records.”
Oh, man. If only that was the case.
Who among us wouldn’t love to throw them out? After all, no one expected Oklahoma to have two losses through four games, and not many expected Texas to have a pair of losses, especially after the Longhorns beat Notre Dame and the UT players carried Strong off the field on their collectively average shoulders.
So, yeah, throw out the records, because here comes the best of the Big 12, which is kind of like saying you’re the king of the nerds. Someone has to be, but there’s certainly no need to celebrate it. Yet here we are, in one of the great arenas of college football where 90,000 will come together, half in orange and the other half in crimson ready to watch one of the great pillow fights of the 2016 season.
Enjoy, everyone! And don’t forget to totally ignore the records and the fact Texas seems to be spiraling downward and Oklahoma has been exposed as something less than elite. What a time to be alive.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time playing “Remember When,” thinking of past OU-Texas matchups when the teams were in a viable conference and were viable competitors on a national level. I guess that’s what ESPN Classic is for.
So, while you remember back to simpler times and sweet, fall victories, take these 25 predictions with you and use them as State Fair currency. Use them as you think/worry about OU, the Big 12, the Ohio State debacle and another possible loss to Texas while you drink beer from a paper cup.
The fair is a great place to sample lots of food, and you’ll get your once-a-year corndog. 1. You’ll want another. It’s a bad idea. Trust me. 2. You’ll get one anyway. You’ll have immediate food remorse. Can’t say I didn’t warn you. A second corndog doesn’t pair well with bad defense, either, and you’ll see plenty of that. 3. The teams will combine for more than 950 yards of offense, but your stomach will turn when you see 4. Oklahoma turn the ball over twice in the first 15 minutes. 5. And Texas score 10 points in that same amount of time. If you’re watching on TV, 7. you’ll hear, “Texas is back,” a half-dozen times in the first quarter. If you’re at the game, 8. you’ll be looking to see how many tickets you have left to buy more paper cups full of bad beer.
Don’t worry, just like last week against TCU, 9. this game will turn quickly, too. Texas will score it’s points early, but so will the Sooners. Get ready for some offense. 10. Joe Mixon will score a first-quarter touchdown. 11. And rush for more than 75 yards in the first quarter, too. 12. OU will score 30-plus in the first half. 13. Have more than 300 yards of offense in the first half, too. That doesn’t mean you won’t be worried about …
14. Last year’s loss in the Cotton Bowl to an even-crappier version of Texas football.
15. The loss to the Longhorns two years before that, as well, when OU was way better than this version of Sooner football.
Texas will be improved, though. 16. The Longhorns won’t have a single extra-point blocked. Hey, progress! 17. But the Longhorns will give up a safety. One step forward, two points back.
18. UT’s Strong won’t get carried off the field on those broad Texas shoulders like he was earlier this season after beating Notre Dame and like he was a year ago against the Sooners. And 19. Strong won’t fire or demote any assistants in the post-game press conference. 20. But he will take full responsibility for the loss and add he feels no pressure about his quite-tenuous job status. Hard to believe he doesn’t, though.
Last year, Stoops saved Strong’s job with a bad loss to the Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl. 21. It won’t happen this year. 22. OU doesn’t carry Stoops off the field on the players’ shoulders, but the Sooners 23. Cover the 10.5 points and win 47-28. 24. You’ll celebrate with another corndog. 25.and forget just for a minute this was a game between 2-2 teams as you throw out the records.
Last week: 15-8