The Norman Transcript


October 30, 2005

Winning always the best tradition

Sports Editor Clay Horning on OU-Nebraska

History will not record Oklahoma’s 31-24 victory over Nebraska as anything, well, historic.

The Big Red Rivalry has gone from a yearly battle to reach the Orange Bowl, with a conference and national championships very often in the balance, to what can only be called a nostalgia tour.

Gary Thorne and Ed Cunningham, calling the game for ABC, were hamming it up with Barry Switzer and Tom Osborne in their television booth as the game played below. The Lincoln PBS station, the night before, was rerunning the Game of the Century.

As Thorne explained during the broadcast, highlights of the historic series served as bumper video between drills during the Huskers’ week of practice. And Tuesday, during his weekly media luncheon, Bob Stoops spent nearly as much time talking about his committtment to educating the Sooners on the rivalry’s past as he did about preparing for its present.

So it’s always a good story when Oklahoma and Nebraska meet.

But don’t take it too far.

It’s not like absence has made the rivalry grow fonder.

When they took the every-yearness out of it, or maybe when they took Switzer and Osborne out of it, it ceased being everything it used to be.

Just don’t tell the Sooners.

Because Stoops has not only proved himself expert in embracing the football traditions that live on in this town, Saturday, or so it seemed, he proved himself expert at embracing and, indeed, selling his team on a tradition running on fumes at best.

Whatever works.

My personal favorite ode to tradition Stoops ever pulled came at the 2000 Orange Bowl, when after his 25th game as Sooner coach, he made it sound like he’d been around when J.C. Watts beat Florida State, for the rematch with Nebraska and the night JoePa and the Nittany Lions went down and Switzer claimed his third national championship.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU womens gym Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014