|Fervor for annual NU-OU game has died down|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 27 October 2008 13:12|
The teams meet Saturday in Norman, Okla., in a game that will prompt old-school fans to reminisce about the days when Nebraska-Oklahoma was one of the hottest rivalries in college football. The Big 12 scheduling format will have them meet again next year, then take two seasons off before resuming the series.
Tom Osborne, one of the key figures in the rivalry's glorious past, said Monday he doesn't see annual meetings between the teams happening again.
``I guess if it could be arranged, it would be nice,'' Nebraska's athletic director said. ``But now that you've got the two divisions so clearly established, I think it would be hard to now go back and have Nebraska and Oklahoma play every year. I don't know how you would do that.
``When the league was first formed, that was the time to do it.''
Osborne was the Cornhuskers' coach when the Big 12 Conference was forming in the mid 1990s. When it was decided there would be North and South Divisions, Osborne pushed for a format that would have allowed teams to designate a rival in the opposite division and play every year. Oklahoma, which considers Texas its biggest rival, did not support the proposal.
Nebraska and Oklahoma played for 71 consecutive seasons between 1927 and 1997, with the game deciding the Big Eight championship most years from the 1960s on. The series helped produce 13 national championships.
The teams have split six meetings since the Big 12 started play in 1996.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said fans surely would enjoy an annual game with Oklahoma. As a player, Pelini played at Ohio State in its rivalry with Michigan.
But from a competitive standpoint in the Big 12, Pelini said, there would be problems having Oklahoma on the schedule every year.
``You're trying to compete for a North title, and if you have to play Oklahoma every year and every other (North) team doesn't, is that fair?'' Pelini said. ``At the end of the day, it's about trying to get to the conference championship game and win a championship.''
Osborne said the fervor for an annual game has died down over time.
e much difference.''