Barry Switzer: Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry will fade

Now that the schools will be in different conferences, Barry Switzer doesn't see Oklahoma's rivalry with Nebraska standing the test of time.
By JEFF LATZKE, AP College Football Writer Modified: August 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm •  Published: August 12, 2010

SEMINOLE — Now that the schools will be in different conferences, Barry Switzer doesn't see Oklahoma's rivalry with Nebraska standing the test of time.

Switzer coached opposite Nebraska's Tom Osborne in one of the sport's marquee rivalries in the 1970s and '80s. The two Big Eight powers played regularly on Thanksgiving weekend, with the game often deciding the conference champion and sometimes affecting the national title.

The Cornhuskers plan to move to the Big Ten next season, leaving the Sooners behind in the Big 12 and essentially bringing an end to the rivalry.

"One thing that's certain in life is change. There's always been a resistance to change but that's going to happen," Switzer said in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press following a speech at Seminole State College.

"As long as they have Nebraska making the sweep to the Big Ten with where we are, that's a game of the past. I don't see it happening again in our lifetime — my lifetime, certainly."

Switzer, 73, said he and all Sooners fans are sad to see the end of the "Battle of the Big Reds" but it had already been fading away since the teams were placed in opposite divisions when the Big 12 was formed in 1996. That meant the schools only played twice every four years, instead of every year, and it also brought an end to the Thanksgiving tradition.

Instead of playing each other, Oklahoma now plays Oklahoma State on the holiday weekend most years while Nebraska had faced Colorado.

"There'll be nothing that'll replace Nebraska," Switzer said. "There's nothing there that could. OSU could be the only other one, but they haven't been competitive enough."

If the Big 12 moves forward playing nine round-robin conference games, Oklahoma likely won't have room on its schedule for the Huskers for years to come due to upcoming series against Florida State, LSU, Tennessee, Ohio State and Notre Dame. There's talk of a nine-game league schedule in the Big Ten, too.

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