Video Credit:  rpongett2
I'm a little partial to the Sooners, but will try to keep this page
neutral.  I really liked the "Red River Shootout" moniker they used
for a few years, but this page is about the whole series, so I think
Rivalry is a better term for this page.

I was privileged to attend four Shootouts, though they weren't called
that then, during my college years in the 1970's. The excitement in
the Cotton Bowl defies description.  All of Dallas becomes one huge
party for the weekend, and classes at both schools are typically let
out early on Friday, and cancelled for Monday.

This page is my tribute to this wonderful tradition of meeting at a so-
called neutral site, with the stadium half crimson & cream, half burnt
orange & white, with a sizable allocation of tickets to students from
both schools.
                                          THE  EARLY  YEARS  

The 2006 game was the 101st meeting of these two teams.  They first met in 1900, and played every year through 1917.  The 8th meeting was one day before Oklahoma became a state in 1907.  They played off-campus several times during these years, with games in Oklahoma City for 1905 and 1906, in Dallas for the first time in 1912, and in Houston for 1913.

The game moved to Dallas permanently in 1914, and would be played there for all but two games since then.  In 1915, the teams were founding members of the new Southwest Conference.  The game moved to a new stadium on the Texas State Fairgrounds, Both teams came in not only unbeaten, but also unscored upon, played for a record-setting 11,000 fans.  The Sooners did give up points, but few enough to leave with a 14-13 victory, and went on to win the inaugural, and their only, Southwest Conference championship.

Between 1918 and 1929, there were several years the teams did not meet.  In 1918, the influenza epidemic caused the game to be cancelled.  Oklahoma left the Southwest conference in 1920 to join the Big Eight so the teams no longer automatically played every year.  Texas started a series with the Vanderbilt Commodores, and played at the fairgrounds every year, but the Commodores withdrew after the 1928 game. 

The Oklahoma-Texas series picked up in 1929, when according to then-Texas athletic director Theo Bellmont "We couldn't get anyone else", and will have its 83rd consecutive clash at the Texas State Fairgrounds in 2011.
                                                         THE FUTURE  

Many questions hang over the future of this series.  Both schools are committed (for
now) to remaining in the Big XII and to making the Big XII succeed.  But the Red River
Rivalry's days at the fairgrounds may be numbered.  The current contract with the Cotton
Bowl expires in 2015 and it seems the series may well leave for greener pastures after
that.  The field conditions were the subject of many complaints back in the 1970's, and
while improvements have been made since then, both school have bigger, and much
better-maintained stadiums at their respective campuses in Austin and Norman.
Businesses in Austin and Norman lose out on tremendous revenues from game day
crowds and are clamoring to bring the game home..

The big losers with switching to a home and away series would be the students.  190
miles is much easier than 380 to travel.  Also, there would likely be no provision for
anywhere near as many visiting students seats as the Cotton Bowl reserves for both
teams.  Neither Austin nor Oklahoma has the hotel and restaurant capacity of the DFW
area.

One proposal would keep the game in the Metroplex, but move it to Cowboy Stadium in
Arlington.  That would preserve the neutral site concept, and hopefully, the ability of
students from both schools to attend, but the ambience of the Texas State Fairgrounds,
and the nation's largest State Fair will be lost.   Cowboy Stadium is a fantastic venue,
though.

The important thing, though, in the long run is that the best rivalry in college football (as
voted by the 199 FCS coaches in 2005)  keeps going, and that eventually, Oklahoma
catches Texas and evens up the series, now standing at 59-42-5.  (Oops, so much for
neutrality!)
Game #106   2011
Oklahoma 55 Texas 17