And these games against OU have only risen in importance for Texas. Used to be, Texas A&M was every bit the rival that OU was for the Longhorns, probably even more.
Jackson Rushing, another Austin native and Texas fan who lives in Norman, remembers the Aggies being the team that he hated losing to most.
Eating rocks was preferable to that.
“That was the game that we couldn't bear to lose,” said Rushing, an art history professor at OU. “And it's sort of shifted in the last several years where the big game for us really is OU.
“This is kind of a new normal.”
With Texas A&M's move to the SEC, the OU game holds more significance than ever to Texas fans. Lose to the Sooners, and there's no game against the Aggies to potentially win and make you feel better about your team.
Get blown out by the Sooners? Well, it feels worse than ever.
It is another knock against Mack.
Even though McKibben endured the indignity of last year's rout while sitting in the OU half of the stadium, she hates that this is likely Mack's last Red River Rivalry as the Texas head coach.
“I have a soft spot for Mack,” she said, explaining that the Horns were in their heyday when she was an undergrad at Texas.
“I want the best for Mack, but I think this will probably be the end.”
Win on Saturday, and McKibben is sure that some of the Mack-must-go talk will subside. But after what she's seen from the Longhorns so far this season, she's worried that this year's game might be a repeat of last year's.
She'll watch this one from home.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.