The Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns meet up for yet another clash of the titans. This annual meeting has been the launching pad for the rest of the season in some cases but fact remains...the higher ranked team has only lost this match-up once in the Bob Stoops/Mack Brown era. The loss came in 2008 when Oklahoma boasted the nation's top ranking and the Longhorns held down the five spot. Much is at stake here in terms of recruiting as well as pride, but for each team there are a few things to consider.
Let's take a look after the jump.
Texas: The Longhorns have had a complete turnover in their coaching staff. Not only that, but their former starting QB in Garrett Gilbert is now rumored as transferring. However, with all of this commotion, Texas found their identity against BYU and has started to run with an inexperienced QB duo in a new system centered around gadget plays. With the installment of the new system, UT still is searching for its first legitimate win against a quality opponent. Up to this point they have played a weaker non-conference schedule that still has people doubting "Texas is back" after their 5-7 season last year. Will the Longhorns become relevant with a close game or better yet with a win?
Texas garners a ton of attention for the name across the front of the jersey. While they have not dominated the conference they still get the benefit of the doubt simply because they are UT. Time to step up.
On a side note, UT is still looking for that cable provider to jump on board with the Longhorn Network. Could some of these providers be holding out knowing that UT is not a major contender this season? UT will continue to push their network and you can bet there will be a slew of commercials for it during the RRS. Will this finally be the push that UT needs to get on board?
Oklahoma: The Sooners traveled to Tallahassee to take on the Florida St. Seminoles at night in a top 5 match-up. For a week this solidified Oklahoma as the premier team in the nation. Yet, there was still a flavor of the week feel to how the non-conference schedule would shape up. This held true through the following weeks and Oklahoma continues to slide down the polls. Now with another top ten match-up (depending on which poll you use), Oklahoma will once again have the chance to boost its stock in the eyes of the voters and gain ground on Alabama and LSU. The Sooners are approaching this game as another hurdle in the way of the chase for number eight.
Oklahoma has been the most dominant team in the Big XII since it's inception and hopes to continue that trend with yet another win over Texas.
However, one thing that most will not take note of in this rivalry is the realignment debacle that slowly but surely unfolded over the past few months. The PAC-12 (a conference sure to have checks on balances on the Longhorns) has said they really wanted Texas all along and in the move the Pride of the Sooner State as well as David Boren took a shot. Texas has chased all the other kids off the playground but could pummeling them in the RRS restore all things that were broken in the minds of OU fans?
In the grand scheme of things, this is a game that could shift the entire landscape of College Football as far as BCS Contenders is concerned. But who is looking to make the bigger statement in this game?