Friday, August 28, 2009

A Rivalry Renewed: Oklahoma @ Nebraska

The Game of the Century. For most older college football fans or those that are educated on it's history, that phrase brings to mind the 1971 classic match-up between the #1 ranked Cornhuskers of Nebraska and #2 ranked Sooners of Oklahoma. It was built up bigger than just about any game before it and ended up hyped beyond belief. Sure, there had been huge games before it and more came later in the century but this one was and is a classic. Johnny Rodgers practically won himself the Heisman Trophy that day with his amazing punt return. He helped Nebraska win by a score of 35-31. Players on both sides of that game still consider it an honor to have played in it and be a part of college football history. The true "Game of the Century".
Oklahoma holds the all-time series lead at 44-37-3 and has been the better team in conference, nationally and as a series over the past 6 meetings (Stoops era) winning 5 of the last 6 matchups, with the only loss coming in 2001 (20-10, NEB). The Sooners win over Nebraska in 2000 as part of their "Red October" run helped propel them to #1 and eventually sent the Sooners off to win their 7th national championship over Florida State.The pendulum is now swinging back in the Cornhuskers favor. They appear to be back. Nebraska enters this game ranked #4 in the nation and look to keep their unbeaten record alive as the Sooners travel to Lincoln for a match-up that will likely determine who plays for the Big XII Championship as well as a possible shot at the National Championship.

Oklahoma appears to be the better team on paper, but as the saying goes, "that's why they play the games." The ESPN Gameday crew will be in Lincoln for the game. Rumor has it both Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit are picking Oklahoma to win the game. The Las Vegas lines have Oklahoma as a 10 point favorite due to their high-powered offense, led by 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford.

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