The Sooner Schooner gets crowded this week. Covered wagon? Bandwagon is more like it.
Oklahoma football, the terror of Middle America since, oh, about 1948, is the sentimental favorite in the Big 12 Championship Game. The people's choice.
OU plays Nebraska on Saturday night in Jerry Jones' Arlington spaceship, and fans from Waterloo, Iowa, to Alpine, Texas, will take crimson over scarlet. Will pull for the Big Red South over the Big Red North.
And Big 12 administrators, who outwardly will display all the proper decorum, will be humming Boomer Sooner under their breath.
Such is the fractured relationship of Nebraska and its soon-to-be ex-league, you couldn't blame Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe for telling the Cornhuskers, don't leave, just leave mad.
Corn Country is outraged that Beebe â€” nor anyone from the Big 12 office â€” showed up in Lincoln for the Nebraska-Colorado game Friday.
Beebe was honest about why he didn't go to Nebraska. He feared for his safety.
I talked to Beebe in the Boone Pickens press box Saturday night, and he said he had received enough threats from Nebraska fans â€” over the 2009 title game controversy, over his suspension of NU's Eric Martin for a helmet-to-helmet hit against Oklahoma State, over the officiating in the Nebraska-Texas A&M game two weeks ago â€” that he was advised to steer clear of Lincoln.
Now the Huskers consider it an affront that no one bothered to conduct a trophy presentation for the Big 12's North division title.
Never mind that Nebraska only tied for the North title, with Missouri. Never mind that most of us out here in reality land didn't even know they hand out divisional football trophies. OU's now been to eight Big 12 title games, and I don't remember ever seeing or hearing about a single division title ceremony.
Turns out there is a trophy, and sometimes even a presentation, but nobody in a precinct like Norman or Austin, or you would think Lincoln, gets excited about such pomp.
I don't think Nebraska's football standards have fallen so low that the Huskers prize a We-Beat-Mizzou piece of hardware. I just think a once-solid fan base has lost its collective mind.
Nebraskans have resorted to bloodlust over their exodus to the Big Ten. They've demonized the Longhorns. Called the rest of the league rubes for staying aligned with UT.
Hey, Huskers. The Big Ten is a great conference that offers lots of money and lots of intriguing competition. Nobody blames you for going.
We blame you for losing your class.
Last November, one calendar year, I wrote a column with a banner headline: â€œWhy can't every place be like Lincoln?â€
I applauded Nebraska's commitment to hospitality and courtesy and a stadium experience the way it ought to be.
What happened to those people? Now Nebraska seems inhabited by a bunch of kooks who frighten off Beebe, an ex-NCAA investigator, and fire off uncouth e-mails like they're from Louisiana or somewhere.
And Husker coach Bo Pelini has gone raving mad, receiving a rebuke from his own chancellor, Harvey Perlman, after accosting an official after the A&M game.
The truth is, no one in Big 12 country was excited about Nebraska winning the football championship in its last year in the league. Now it's become a crusade; keep the Huskers 0-for-the-21st century in trophies that really matter.
The Sooners haven't fostered a lot of goodwill over the years, running roughshod (with the Huskers) over the Big Eight for decades, then dominating the Texas schools the last decade.
But OU popularity soars this week. In Iowa and Kansas and Missouri, even in all those Dairy Queen towns south of the Red River, they're chanting in unison.
Go Big Red.
Of the South.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.