The Norman Transcript

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November 7, 2009

NEW: What was at stake made the game great

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Oklahoma and Nebraska should play every season!

That's the idea, isn't it?

Whenever this game comes around, that's the thought. Because the good old days never cease being good and old, it always sounds like a bang up plan.

Other games live on, geographic divisional boundaries be damned.

Why can't this one?

Perhaps it wouldn't be what it's been every year, but these are still two fine programs. The nostalgia their meeting creates is never anything but cool and if all it ever really accomplishes is getting reruns of the Game of the Century shown yearly on ESPN Classic isn't that still enough?

So play it every year.

It's a good argument.

Hard to get past.

Hard to fight your way out of.

Except for this.

It's the wrong argument.

It doesn't apply.

Perhaps it's worth pointing out that playing the Sooners every season can only help the Huskers. OU doesn't need the help. Prestige hasn't been a problem around here since October 2000.

Of course, nobody wants to be selfish, so go ahead and shelve the go-build-your-program-back-up-and-then-we'll-talk line of thinking.

Instead, go with this.

When everybody talks about Sooners and Huskers and days of yore, what are they really talking about?

Great teams, yes.

Great players, yes.

Great coaches, yes.

Great tradition, yes.

But what kept it all together?

Great stakes.

And, if the Orange Bowl committee was treating everybody right back in the day, great steaks, too.

Nebraska and OU might have been defined by a lot of things, yet more than anything else it was what the winner got for winning, and more than anything else, that was a trip to Miami, a date in the Orange Bowl and, if everything fell your way, a national championship could be in the cards.

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