Every year, there are big games in college football. There are games that get the people talking at work the week of the game. There are games that get The Sports Debates talking about as soon as possible. This week, we are going to take a look at a game that each of us the writers believes is important for various reasons. The game that I have chosen to label as the most important of the season is the annual Red River Rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns that takes place the week of the Texas State Fair.
This year, the game will be played October 17th in Dallas. And there’s a decent chance that both teams will be undefeated going into that game. It will not be the first time, and it probably will not be the last time the game involves two undefeated teams. It was the case last year, when Texas knocked off then #1 Oklahoma 45-35.
This year’s contest promises to be the most important game of the season. In the preseason coaches poll released last Friday, Texas is ranked second and Oklahoma is ranked third. Both teams return Heisman trophy contenders in Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy and Sooners quarterback, and reigning Heisman winner, Sam Bradford.
The winner of this game has an inside track to the conference championship game (and potential BCS berth) as the winner of the Big 12 South conference. The winner does not always win the division though. If you will recall from last year, Texas didn’t win the conference. I think we can all agree that Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma are a little ahead of the other contenders at the point, due to who they have returning at the skill positions. The winner of this game will have a leg up on the other in the race to the BCS Championship game. Anything less than a berth in the championship would have to be considered a disappointment for Texas or Oklahoma, right?
I also think it is a big game for Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops, who no longer deserves to be called “Big Game Bob.” He needs this one to help remove the stigma of people thinking Oklahoma can longer win the big game. Losing to Florida, West Virginia, and Boise State in BCS bowls the past three years have somewhat dampened his reputation. A win over an archrival would keep the fans and alumni happy and help get the media off his back. He is certainly not on the hot seat, but it is time for him to take his team to the top again. This could be the year.
Bleacher Fan and Sports Geek both have their reasons for choosing their games as the most important games. But when all is said and done, the battle in Texas is going to go a long way in charting the course for the rest of the college football season. It is a day that Loyal Homer is thoroughly looking forward to. I have a date with the recliner set up for that day!