There’s no match for OU-Texas
Which is the better rivalry? Bedlam or the Red River Showdown?
By Kyle Salomon,
When it comes to rivalries in sports, you hear about the Yankees-Red Sox, Lakers-Celtics or Michigan-Ohio State, but the one rivalry that trumps them all is the Red River Showdown between Oklahoma and Texas.
Now my counterpart, Patrick Osborne, believes the annual Bedlam clash between the Sooners and their bitter in-state foe, Oklahoma State, tops OU-Texas when it comes to rivalries.
Osborne will dazzle you with ideas such as the in-state brotherhood or that on-campus sites are better than the neutral site, but in reality, in no world is Bedlam ever bigger or better than the clash of crimson and burnt orange every October in Dallas.
First, we have to look at the tradition of the rivalry. Oklahoma and Texas are consistently among the top two programs in college football. The Longhorns lead the series 60-43-5 over the Sooners, but OU is closing the gap rapidly.
Every time these schools meet, it almost always sets a clear picture for what the rest of the Big 12 football season will look like. The winner of the big game will have the upper hand to win the conference the majority of the time.
Yes, Bedlam is always one of, if not the final regular season game of the year for both OU and OSU, but only in this decade have the two programs been comparable on the field. The Sooners lead the series 84-17-7. Not much of a “rivalry” if you ask me.
Next, we take a look at the venue of the Red River Showdown. The Cotton Bowl on the fairgrounds of Dallas is an historic football cathedral with a backdrop that will drop your jaw and open your eyes to true college football history.
The stadium holds a capacity of 92,000 people with 20,000 or 30,000 more crazed OU or UT fans outside the stadium watching on the big screen. The game always takes place in the middle of October, which is always in the middle of the Texas State Fair. It’s simple, you take one of the craziest and most fun state fairs across the whole country and put a football game of that magnitude right in the middle of it, you have yourself one heck of an atmosphere.
However, with all that being said, possibly the coolest thing about the venue at OU-Texas is the split right down the middle of the stadium. One side of the stadium is completely doused in crimson and the other side is filled with burnt orange. There is not a better site in all of sports.
Remember what former Ohio State and NFL star running back Eddie George told former OU and NFL star Roy Williams in his first OU-Texas experience. “Yeah, this is a lot bigger than Ohio State-Michigan. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Those words say it all.
While the on-campus site argument is valid from Osborne, the 60,000-seat stadium in Stillwater just wouldn’t quite compete with the atmosphere in Dallas. Perhaps if OSU could actually fill up the stadium for a Bedlam game he might have an argument. Then again, when it comes to the Red River Showdown, it takes a backseat to no other rivalry. Just ask Eddie George.