OU football: Game of the Century anniversary and other takeaways from the Sooners' 2021 non-conference schedule
NORMAN — OU officially released its 2021 non-conference schedule Monday.
Though the schedule is as expected, here's three takeaways from the trio of non-conference games:
1. Game of the Century anniversary celebration
The Sooners will play Nebraska for the first time since the 2010 Big 12 Championship Game and host the Cornhuskers for the first time since 2008.
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Nebraska will visit Norman on Sept. 18. The series renewal comes 50 years after the Nov. 25, 1971 "Game of the Century" game where the No. 1 Cornhuskers beat No. 2 Oklahoma 35-31.
The Sooners and Cornhuskers rank first and second nationally in league championships, with OU winning 50 and Nebraska 46. The programs combined to win or share Big Seven/Big Eight titles in 44 of the conferences' 48 years and combined for nine Big 12 titles before the Cornhuskers left for the Big Ten in 2011.
This Nebraska team is far from a juggernaut, though. The Cornhuskers haven't had a winning season since 2016 and are coming off a 3-5 campaign under Scott Frost. Nebraska is 12-20 in three seasons under Frost.
2. Back to the Big Easy
For the first time since 2012, the Sooners will open the season with a true road game (though the 2016 began with a "neutral site" game against Houston in NRG Stadium in Houston).
OU begins with a Sept. 4 game at Tulane at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans.
The game will be the Sooners' first in Louisiana outside of their eight Sugar Bowl appearances.
The Green Wave were 6-6 last season, playing in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
OU has played Tulane just once — a 56-14 win in 2017.
3. Dual 2021 seasons
Between those two games, the Sooners will host FCS Western Carolina on Sept. 11.
The game will be the first meeting between the programs.
The Catamounts will play an eight-game Southern Conference schedule this spring, beginning Feb. 20, after playing just three non-conference games in the fall.
It'll be the third consecutive season with an FCS opponent for the Sooners, following a 48-0 win over Missouri State to open 2020. OU beat South Dakota 70-14 in 2019.