NORMAN — Oklahoma and Nebraska have agreed “in principle” to a home-and-home series beginning in a game on Owen Field in 2021 — the 50th anniversary of the “Game of the Century” — the Omaha World-Herald reported Monday.
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said the contracts aren’t signed yet, but that should just be a formality.
Sources told the newspaper that the first game would be played in 2021, with OU making a return trip to Lincoln, Neb., the next year.
The 1971 “Game of the Century” in Norman was won by Nebraska, 35-31. That year, Osborne was Nebraska’s offensive coordinator; Barry Switzer held the same position for Oklahoma.
Both Osborne and Switzer became head coaches at their respective schools in 1973, and went on to meet 17 times, with Switzer’s teams winning 12 of those contests.
Each coach won three national championships; Switzer won 12 conference titles before he resigned as OU’s coach in 1988, and Osborne won 13 conference titles during his time at Nebraska’s helm. He retired from coaching after the 1997 season.
“I think it would be a neat deal,” Switzer said of a potential OU-Nebraska home-and-home.
“They used to be so damn good when Tom was there. We had to play Texas as a nonconference, and for them to swap now — with Texas as a conference and have to play Nebraska as a nonconference — makes it kind of about what it used to be on the schedule.”
Texas and Oklahoma were nonconference rivals until 1996, the Big 12 Conference’s first season.
The intense OU-Nebraska rivalry took its first hit in 1996, when — as part of the Big 8’s expansion into the Big 12 — the conference was split into North and South divisions, which meant the two programs were only scheduled to meet in regular-season games two out of every four seasons.