We love the Texas State Fair. We love the annual trip down Interstate 35 with fans of each team lining the road with their signs encouraging us fans to Beat the Other Team. We love the Cotton Bowl, with its storied history excusing its outdated facilities. We love the annual half crimson, half burnt orange stadium. But c'mon...we hate Texas. This is why:
They hate us
Make no mistake, UT fans do not like OU fans any better than the other way around. I actually married a Longhorn (sorry not sorry), and she has Longhorn friends, so I have some insight on how they feel about us Sooners. Let me tell you, it's not great. To hear them tell it, it's a miracle that anyone with an OU education can read or write. Nowhere on earth is there a more negative opinion of the state of Oklahoma than there is down in Austin.
And this week, if you see any Longhorn fans roaming about, I'll bet you dollars to donuts that this is the screensaver on their phone. Maybe that's okay. It feels mean to hate someone who's done nothing bad to you (I've had to start preparing the column for why we hate Kansas already), so maybe it's better that Texas hates us. And boy do they ever.
45-35 on a neutral field
Sound familiar? In 2008 the phrase "45-35 on a neutral field" might as well have been the official school slogan for UT. It helps a bit that their words fell upon the deaf ears of the BCS, but that doesn't really take away from the absurdity of it all. In case you don't remember, that was the year that OU was in a three-way tie with Texas and Texas Tech to go to the conference championship game (man, remember those?). Texas Tech beat Texas, Oklahoma beat Texas Tech, and, yes, Texas did beat Oklahoma by ten in the Cotton Bowl.
What Texas fans will never acknowledge is that Oklahoma had the hardest schedule of the three teams that year, and also had the best overall margin of victory. The tie was ultimately resolved in Oklahoma's favor, as it should have been. Texas Tech never seemed to complain much. Texas, on the other hand, used their ridiculous rallying cry to convince people that beating one of the teams in a three-way tie should somehow resolve the three-way tie (news flash: if you don't beat one of the other two teams, there's no three-way tie to begin with). To this day, Texas still believes that it should have been the team to advance, and "45-35 on a neutral field" will always be the thing I hate most about Texas.
It doesn't matter when they're bad
Stop me if you've heard this one: Oklahoma walks into a bar, and Texas is sitting there unranked and on the verge of firing its coach. Oklahoma walks up to Texas and Texas says..."
I'll stop there because the punch line isn't funny for Oklahoma fans. In recent years alone, Texas has somehow managed to rise to the occasion when it should have been on its last legs. In 2013, with Texas 1-2 on the season and Earl Campbell saying Mack Brown needed to go, Texas managed to win the game. Last year, Texas was 1-4 and facing heavy favorite #10 Oklahoma, with Charlie Strong's job in question. Oklahoma
stuffed UT's running attack allowed 313 yards on the ground and lit up the scoreboard managed only seventeen points. Even the game in-between, which Oklahoma won, was a shaky effort at best.
The truth is that it just doesn't matter how good Oklahoma is, or how bad Texas may seem. In fact, Texas may play better against OU during down yeas, which is an extra little twist of the knife in OU's ranking if Texas manages to pull off the victory.
Burnt orange is the ugliest color ever
That's just the truth.
The Longhorn Network
Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily begrudge a team for having an entrepreneurial spirit and making themselves some money. That being said, Texas has signed a ridiculous contract for their own television network on ESPN. Ever want to watch replays of regular season volleyball games? Head over to the Longhorn Network. It's something no school actually needs.
That's not why it's a problem, though. It would be fine that Texas has its silly network if it weren't hindering the conference. The Big 12 is trying to expand, or at least they were. Frankly, that movement seems to be dying down a little bit, which probably spells the end of the Big 12 in a few years. When trying to add teams to the mix, one of the big hurdles is getting a new television deal to compensate all the members more. Texas, though, has its own little cash cow, which means it has incentive not to sign onto a new network.
Texas fans might say "well we're just smart to lock in our own deal. You're just jealous." It does make sense for them financially to do this. I'm not jealous (look at their upcoming t.v. schedule; there's nothing worth watching). What I am is annoyed that one team is making everything difficult.
Texas is our rival. There may be a bit of mutual respect mixed in between historic big dogs, but really it's mostly just hate. There are countless reasons, but those are some of them.