Where does the “Game of the Century” rank among no. 1 vs. no. 2 matchups all time?

·2 min read

When the Oklahoma Sooners enter Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, they’ll play host to one of their oldest rivalries in all of sports. The Sooners and the Cornhuskers get set to renew a matchup that’s played 86 games.

It’s been 50 years since the Oklahoma Sooners and the Nebraska Cornhuskers played the “Game of the Century.” With the anniversary of that matchup coming on Saturday, Ralph Russo of the Associated Press ranked the top five matchups between the no. 1 and the no. 2 teams in the country of all time.

Russo put the “Game of the Century” matchup between the Sooners and Cornhuskers from 1971 as the top game between the top two teams in the Associated Press Polls.

For about two decades, a case could be made that Oklahoma-Nebraska was the most important rivalry in college football. From 1971-88, the Sooners and Cornhuskers played 15 top-five matchups. This game launched that period of dominance in college football and it still stands as the best of the bunch. Big Eight rivals Nebraska and Oklahoma were 1-2 in the AP poll for seven weeks leading up to their famous Thanksgiving Day showdown.

Some Games of the Century are marked by controversy during the game or in the aftermath. That’s not really the case with ’71 Nebraska-Oklahoma, a game that delivered on every bit of its hype. -Russo

It was a back and forth showdown that pitted the two best teams in the country and, as Russo tells it, marked the launched this matchup as the most important in college football.

The Sooners and the Cornhuskers get to renew that rivalry on Saturday with a game that may not mean as much in the rankings but means a ton to two fanbases longing for this game since conference realignment changed the landscape of college football a decade ago.