Red River Rivalry bragging rights are second to surviving another Big 12 opponent

The winner of OU-Texas gets a leg up on competing for league championship.
by Berry Tramel Modified: October 9, 2012 at 12:05 am •  Published: October 8, 2012


photo - Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Mack Brown shake hands before the start of the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas Longhorns (UT) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman  ORG XMIT: KOD
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Mack Brown shake hands before the start of the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Texas Longhorns (UT) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

Maybe so. But the Stoops-Mack rivalry is making college football history. This is the kind of two-coach domination we saw in the 19 years Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles dueled in the Southwest Conference, and in the 16 years Barry Switzer and Tom Osborne ruled the Big Eight, and in the 10 years Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes battled in the Big Ten.

But all of those stretches were ended by job changes. Broyles and Royal resigned. Hayes slugged a Clemson player and lost his job. Switzer was forced out after The Troubles.

Stoops and Mack are still going, strongly to some degree, they just now have to share the stage with OSU and West Virginia and K-State.

“It's great for the fans,” Mack said Monday down in Austin. “It's great for college football. This league has gotten hard. I mean, you'd better play good every week … it's a fun time for the fans, and coaches are having to coach hard.”

Put Stoops and Mack at the top of that list. Stoops is in danger of going two straight seasons without a Big 12 title. That would be a first. Since playing in the 2009 national title game, Mack is 7-12 in conference play.

Their status as kingpins of this conference in peril. Their game in the Cotton Bowl is not for Big 12 supremacy. It's for Big 12 survival.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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