Thursday, November 29, 2012
Nebraska-OU series set for 2021, 2022
By Adam Rittenberg
This has been in the works for a while, but it's finally official: Nebraska and Oklahoma will play a home-and-home series in the distant future.
The longtime Big Eight/Big 12 rivals will meet Sept. 18, 2021 in Norman, Okla., and Sept. 17, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. The Huskers and Sooners last played in the 2010 Big 12 championship game, which marked Nebraska's final contest in the conference before its move to the Big Ten.
The 2021 game will recognize the 50th anniversary of the "Game of the Century" between Nebraska and Oklahoma in 1971, when the top-ranked Huskers beat the second-ranked Sooners 35-31 en route to a national title.
"Our rivalry with Oklahoma has been one of the great traditional matchups in the history of college football," Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said in a prepared statement. "The games between the two schools were generally to decide a conference championship, and many times helped determine the national champion. Those matchups were always played with great intensity on the field, but with a great deal of respect from both sides and among the fan bases. I know our fans look forward to non-conference games against high-profile opponents like Oklahoma. I'm pleased we were able to finalize this series."
It's great to see the series finalized, and I'm sure Nebraska fans will be thrilled. How good is this rivalry? Both teams were ranked in the top 11 of the AP poll in 17 of the 19 games played between 1971-1988. Insane.
The concern is how continued conference realignment impacts future non-conference scheduling.
If leagues like the Big Ten go back to schedules with nine conference games, teams will be less inclined/able to schedule marquee non-league series like this one.
While Nebraska and Oklahoma likely will make the series a priority, there's no telling what the scheduling landscape will look like nearly a decade from now.
Nebraska has no other non-league games scheduled for 2021 and 2022, but expects to announce more schedule updates in the coming weeks.