Red River Rivalry: The Making of the Texas-Oklahoma Rivalry

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Red River Rivalry: The Making of the Texas-Oklahoma Rivalry
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The Cotton Bowl hosting the Red River Rivalry.

The Red River Rivalry is upon is, but the story behind its creation is what has both teams talking smack.

I remember contentious games between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Nebraska Cornhuskers before the Huskers moved to the Big Ten. There were also the over-hyped bedlam games between the Sooners and Oklahoma State. But when I look over the Sooners' schedule my blood begins to boil when I see the Texas game, or the Red River Rivalry. Regardless of the standings, everything is on the line when it comes to the Oklahoma and Texas matchup.

So how did this battle begin?

Here is everything you need to know about the Red River Rivalry:

Year the rivalry began: The Red River Rivalry began in 1900 but didn't become competitive until Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th state in 1907.

Battleground: Since 1929, the Red River Rivalry has taken place every year at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

History behind the rivalry: Texas and Oklahoma are the two powerhouses of the Big 12. Most games at the Cotton Bowl decide the conference champion, and sometimes the national championship game. Both teams are consistently ranked in the Top 25, so a win holds a lot of value.

Records at stake this year: With a win, Landry Jones would break Steve Davis' record of 33 wins, which are the most wins in Oklahoma history by a quarterback. Jones would also become the third quarterback in Oklahoma's history to beat Texas three consecutive times.

Bob Stoops' Red River Rivalry career: This game is also important for Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. With a win Saturday, Oct. 13, he would have nine wins against Texas -- which would tie former OU coach Barry Switzer's record.

How it got its name: The Red River Rivalry was named for the red rivers that divide Oklahoma and Texas. Before 2005, though, it was named the Red River Shootout. In 2005, the rivalry sponsor, SBC Communications, officially renamed it the SBC Red River Rivalry, and then to the AT&T Red River Rivalry a year later. The word "shootout" was changed to avoid supporting gun violence.

Red River Rivalry trophies: Not only are BCS standings and pride at stake, but there are three trophies up for grabs. The Golden Hat Trophy is a gold cowboy hat that transfers back and forth depending on which school wins. There is also the Governor's Trophy, and the Red River Rivalry Trophy that was created in 2003.

Team with most wins: Texas leads the rivalry 59-42-5, but the Sooners have taken control over the last few years, winning eight of 12.

Most notable players and coaches: The most notable coach is former Texas coach Darrell Royal with the most wins in the rivalry. Texas quarterback Peter Gardere is the only one to win four games as a starter, and Texas defensive tackle Brad Shearer was also a standout player with the game-clinching goal-line stand in 1977.

In 1958, Texas tight end Bob Bryant ended a six-year losing streak with the game-winning touchdown catch. In 2001, Oklahoma quarterback Jason White saved the game when Nate Hybl was injured. From 1972-75, standout Oklahoma defensive lineman Lee Roy Selmon accomplished four wins with 31 tackles under Switzer, who also had two series of four-win games in the rivalry.

It's clear that the Red River Rivalry is not only a game of football but a bragging right for the winning state. Never in my life have I seen two states that can barely border each other.

Go Sooners!

Janoa Taylor is a born and raised Sooners fan from Oklahoma. She follows the Sooners faithfully, and spends each week cheering them on to their next national championship.

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