DALLAS — It was a sight not often seen here, a sporting phenomenon of sorts inside the old Cotton Bowl on Saturday afternoon.
To the left of the 50-yard line, a few Texas fans remained. But the sun's shine off the silver bleachers was far more prevalent than burnt orange. The idea of a corndog and a fried something-or-another at the adjacent state fair sounded much more appealing than continuing to watch the pounding their team was taking.
To the right, every Oklahoma fan was in stationed at their seat - all 48,000 of them. They weren't going to miss this for the world.
A blowout in the Red River Rivalry — a 55-17 victory for the No. 3 Sooners against the 11th-ranked Longhorns — created what seemed like an optimal illusion, with the stadium equally halved into emptying and full.
Sooners rover Tony Jefferson, who had one of five takeaways, helped plant the OU flag at midfield after the game as UT, moping, shuffled to the locker room.
“It doesn't get any better than this,” Oklahoma senior receiver Ryan Broyles said. “This game's usually competitive. It usually goes to the fourth quarter. This one didn't and that's all right with me.”
The Longhorns were 4-0 and had gone from unranked to knocking on the Top 10's door. Feelings of their renewal and resurgence, at least for now, were perhaps overstated for youthful UT.
“I was disappointed that we didn't live up to our side of the match,” Texas' Mack Brown said. “This is one of the greatest games in college football … and we didn't live up to our side of it.”
While Red River routs have been rare, Stoops' knack for notching them is getting trendy. Fifty-five to 17 will look nice on the resume, along with 63-14 against the Horns in 2000 and 65-13 in 2003.
Those OU teams played for national titles. The 2011 team looks capable at times, Saturday serving as the best illustration so far this fall.
“I can see why they're the No. 1 team in the country,” said Brown, referring to the coaches' poll, where the Sooners have stayed at the top.
In the AP rankings, OU (5-0) had dropped a spot each of the past two weeks, despite winning. Stoops said voters were right to move Alabama and LSU ahead of the Sooners, based on impressive victories by those SEC teams. But he's asking for the same treatment, given the nature of the win here Saturday.
“I'm sure we'll be rewarded for playing a game like this today,” Stoops said. “We're in good shape. We've got to take care of our business.”