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OU vs. Texas: Red River series has become a measuring stick for Bob Stoops, Mack Brown

by Berry Tramel Published: October 10, 2013

DALLAS – Bob Stoops says he doesn't remember the OU fan reaction after the 2005 Texas game.

But he knows it wasn't good.

Those Vince Young Longhorns routed the Sooners 45-12, giving Stoops a sliver of what life has been like far too often for Mack Brown.

Seven times in the 107-game OU-Texas history, the verdict has been decided by at least 38 points. Mack has been on the wrong end of four of those blowouts. Including two straight that has helped put Mack's career in a sling.

Life's not easy for a coach who loses OU-Texas. Life can't be bearable for a coach who loses two straight by blowout proportion.

“No, I wouldn't think so,” Stoops said. “I'm sure it wasn't for me at that time (2005). But I was fighting through all kinds of issues in that year, just trying to win another game.”

Which is sort of the point. Stoops hasn't always owned Mack Brown; Stoops leads Mack 9-5. Heck, as recently as summer 2010, Stoops had a Texas Problem, having lost four of five to the Longhorns.

But Stoops has rolled up his sleeves and gone back to work. OU football isn't where it once was, but it's a far cry from where it could be. Where Texas is.

This series is a priceless measuring stick. You don't always win OU-Texas. Great teams can lose OU-Texas. The 2004 ‘Horns; the ‘2008 Sooners.

But to be consistently pulverized by an archrival, when everyone from coast to coast calls your program the nation's best job? Inexcusable.

No team comes into the Cotton Bowl unfocused. The second Saturday of October sneaks up on no one. The talent divide between these squads rarely is wide.

So a blowout is puzzling. Repeated blowouts are revealing.

63-14 in 2000. 65-13 in 2003. 55-17 in 2011. 63-21 in 2012. Something is rotten in the state of Texas.

Mack Brown has a job this year not because the Texas brass believes in him. Mack has a job because UT didn't want to face the unpleasantness of starting over.

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by Berry Tramel
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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