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War of the Big Reds all but over with Nebraska's move to Big Ten

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 12, 2010 at 10:39 am •  Published: June 12, 2010

It began in 1912, on Nov. 23. When else and where else but late November in Lincoln should Oklahoma and Nebraska play football?

Huskers won 13-9.

The Oklahoman's page 1 headline blared:

NEBRASKA BEEF

CONQUERS OVER

OKLAHOMA SPEED

Did it end Friday, in the most unBigRedlike month of June, when Nebraska declared it would leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten?

Yes. Going their separate ways are proprietors of the most glorious brand of college football the sport has ever seen.

Nebraska to the northern kingdom, putting 12 teams in the Big Ten and leaving 10 teams in the Big 12, funky numbers that will befuddle future mathematicians. Such a bizzaro world can't sustain itself, so soon enough the Sooners will be gone, too, off with their new blood brothers to the Pac-10 Conference.

Never again will the Big Reds meet on a frozen field and play slobberknocker football, the kind that would thrill fans from nine to 90. See-your-breath, scrape-your-elbows, blood-sweat-and-cheers football.

The rivalry was crippled by the formation of the Big 12, when the then-down Sooners decided seeing the then-mighty Huskers twice every four years was plenty, thank you.

The series will die now that much more than the rolling hills of Kansas separates the prairie powers.

An OU-NU non-conference series? No way. Bob Stoops already has Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and LSU scheduled between now and 2019, plus a beefed-up conference slate.

You want Nebraska every year? It will cost you the Seminoles, Fighting Irish, Buckeyes, Volunteers and Bayou Bengals. And that might not even do it.

That's not a trade OU would or should make. You can't turn back the clock, no matter how hard we want to try. No matter how much fun it would be to again see the Big Reds on Thanksgiving Friday with an Orange Bowl berth on the line and option quarterbacks going down the line.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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