Preview: Texas vs. Oklahoma
The 105th edition of the Red River Rivalry features the winners of the last 6 Big 12 championship games and the last 11 south division titles.
Texas enters licking its wounds after tumbling from 3rd to 11th in the Congrove Computer Rankings following last week's shocking 34-12 upset loss at home to UCLA. The Longhorns were treated even worse by the AP and Coaches' Polls which dumped Texas as low as No. 21. Oklahoma enters undefeated and ranked 7th.
Still, Oklahoma and Texas are meeting as ranked teams in the AP Top 25 for the 34th time since the poll began in 1936 with Oklahoma holding a 16-14-3 edge in those games.
Was Texas looking ahead to this week? The computer seems to think so as it has made Mack Brown's squad a 3.70-point favorite. The computer, however, has missed its outright pick in the last two seasons after picking the winner for seven straight years.
Although the loss to UCLA at home snapped Texas’ 16-game home winning streak, Brown’s teams have bounced back in the past, losing consecutive games only four times in his 13-season tenure in Austin.
The Sooners haven't been without their share of troubles, though, with narrow wins over Utah State by 7, Air Force by 3 and Cincinnati by 2. A 47-17 win over Florida State stands out as an anomaly.
Gone are high-profile QB's Colt McCoy (Texas) and Sam Bradford (Oklahoma). In step Garrett Gilbert and Landry Jones. Gilbert has thrown just 4 TD passes and tossed 4 INT's during the 3-1 start by the Longhorns. Landry, meanwhile, has tossed 11 TD passes and has been picked off just twice.
Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles has seven consecutive games with at least 100 yards receiving. Senior running back DeMarco Murray has 53 all-purpose touchdowns in his career (42 rushing, nine receiving and two on kick returns). He’s tied for second in school history with Billy Sims (53). Steve Owens is first with 57.
Texas will bring the nation’s second-ranked defense into the Cotton Bowl, giving up just 227.75 yards of total offense per game. UT ranks second in sacks with 14; second in tackles for loss with 34; and sixth in passing defense at 128.75 yards allowed per game.
Brown has been on both sidelines for the Texas/Oklahoma rivalry. He was the offensive coordinator at then-No. 2 Oklahoma in 1984 when it battled then-No. 1 Texas to a 15-15 tie.
The series is tied at 7 games apiece in games played since the formation of the Big 12 in 1996, but Texas is looking for its fifth win in the last six years. The Longhorns lead the series overall 59-40-5.
Kick-off is at 2:30 central time, 3:30 eastern, and will be broadcast regionally on ABC.