Why OU-Texas for the Big 12 title will be as weird as it is intense
The Red River Redux is going to be lots of things.
Intriguing. Contentious. Exciting.
It's also going to be odd.
Oklahoma and Texas are going to play a football game Saturday somewhere other than the Cotton Bowl. That hasn't happened since 1923 when the matchup was still being played on campus. For 90 consecutive games, these teams have played on the grounds of the Texas State Fair.
But not this time. OU-Texas 2.0 will be at JerryWorld with the Big 12 title on the line, and there'll be no fair. No Ferris wheel. No Big Tex.
Thankfully, there will be corny dogs, but still, the whole thing is going to be weird, I tell you.
“It's really weird,” Texas coach Tom Herman concurred. “I gotta be honest with you. ... We're talking about a hundred years of playing this rivalry, or close to it, and then all of a sudden, you've got to play them for a championship, too.
“It is weird.”
Even though Herman missed the mark a bit — the rivalry started in 1900 — these two teams playing under these circumstances is like the gladiators and lions meeting at The Roman Forum instead of The Colosseum.
It's just a little off.
“It will be different for sure,” Sooner linebacker Caleb Kelly acknowledged. “I like the drive in. I like seeing everything split halfway, and I think it's really cool because you get some cool pictures out of it, too.”
The whole experience will be altered. There'll be no fairgrounds to stroll around, no buildings to walk through, no rides to hop on.
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If you need a fix, nearby Six Flags Over Texas is open Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.
If you miss Big Tex, the Tom Landry statue is nice. Bronze. Nine feet tall. Puny compared to 55-foot Big Tex, but pretty much everything is.
Now, if you miss corny dogs, fear not.
There is a Fletcher's stand inside the stadium. I'm going to guess the line will be longer than Black Friday at Walmart, but when you need a corn dog, you need a corn dog.
Still, some things about OU-Texas just won't be replicated Saturday.
The team buses will pull up like they do at the Cotton Bowl, but instead of stopping amid a sea of fans, they will pull into a tunnel and inside the massive bowels of JerryWorld. Players and coaches will unload surrounded by concrete instead of fans.
The stadium won't be split 50-50 at the 50-yard line like it is at the Cotton Bowl either. Each school was allotted less than 10,000 tickets, leaving more than 60,000 seats that have been sold first come, first served.
A vast majority of the stadium will be a hodgepodge of crimson and orange. Sooners and Longhorns sitting together.
I'm sure everything will be fine.
And by fine, I mean JerryWorld probably won't be burnt to the ground by the time the game is over.
When all is said and done, the winner will get to parade around the field with the Big 12 trophy, not the Golden Hat.
Another oddity in what will undoubtedly be a weird day. Not weird bad. Not weird good, though I'm going to go out on a limb and say the toilets won't overflow this time around.
But OU-Texas, Part 2, will be unlike anything we've ever seen.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 405-475-4125 or email@example.com. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
NO. 6 OKLAHOMA VS. NO. 14 TEXAS
• When: 11 a.m., Saturday
• Where: AT&T Stadium; Arlington, Texas
• TV: ABC (Cox 8)
• Radio: KRXO-FM 107.7