Despite the Red River stage, there is no deep-rooted hatred.
We're talking about Bradford and McCoy here, not the Hatfields and McCoys.
Bradford and McCoy are talented, competitive, smart, humble and unfathomably classy — seemingly to the same degree.
As for OU and Texas fans who might be boiling under the collar, Bradford and McCoy defuse the situation with their usual calm.
Bradford: "Our friendship goes beyond that. We can both see past that we play at rival schools."
McCoy: "From the fans' perspective, it's kind of like, 'What in the world are you all doin'? You can't be friends.' But for me, and for him in the same way, we have a lot of things in common."
Both played multiple sports in high school and neither was atop anyone's football recruiting list.
Each wound up at the college he admired throughout his childhood.
Each possesses a certain quality the other might lack as a player.
Bradford said he wants McCoy's quick feet, his ability to scramble from trouble.
McCoy is impressed with Bradford's ball-faking, how he almost always seems to know where he's going with the ball, how he hardly ever makes mistakes.
When they chat, they talk more fishing than football.
Two of college football's best quarterbacks took turns heaping praise upon each other during Big 12 Media Days this week, but you can bet your last buck no victory would resonate more than beating the other Oct. 17 in Dallas.
And afterward, a friendship will remain intact.
"He's a great player and a great person," McCoy said of Bradford, "and I don't think our friendship will ever change."
* John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.
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