ARLINGTON, Texas — This game’s going to be missed.
The rivalry, too. The rivalry most of all.
Because it’s Oklahoma and Nebraska, and it’s the last go-round for the Sooners and Huskers for the foreseeable future, unless it’s for a national championship. And don’t be surprised if that happens, but who can possibly predict something like that?
Tonight marks the last scheduled game between two historic programs that, in large part, defined college football for a long time, and in a much larger part, defined themselves by their success, or lack of it, when facing each other.
No, it hasn’t been that way for a while. And still, when your historic yardstick flies the coup, well, it takes a piece of you with it. It just can’t be the same.
So that’s the biggest thing about tonight. But not the only thing.
It’s not just the end of OU-Nebraska.
It’s the end of the Big 12’s early-December big stage. It’s the end of angling an entire regular season to be the best in the South to go play the best in the North. It’s the end of an event that has served the Sooners very well. Even when it didn’t seem like it.
“You’re thinking, ‘What in the world are we playing this for,” Bob Stoops said of those seasons OU had national championship dreams, but first had to get through the conference title game
You remember 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2008?
Only the game never hurt the Sooners. Even when they lost so badly, in 2003, to Kansas State, they went on to play for the national championship at the Sugar Bowl.
This game has only helped OU.
“When you’re not in that (national championship) picture, for instance, this year,” Stoops said. “It’s incredibly exciting and it’s a game that you’re glad you have.”