Oklahoma football: Red River rivalry history lesson in numbers

DALLAS, TEXAS - OCTOBER 12: The Oklahoma Sooners take a group photo after defeating the Texas Longhorns 34-27 during the 2019 AT&T Red River Showdown at Cotton Bowl on October 12, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TEXAS - OCTOBER 12: The Oklahoma Sooners take a group photo after defeating the Texas Longhorns 34-27 during the 2019 AT&T Red River Showdown at Cotton Bowl on October 12, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The first college football game was played in 1869 between Rutgers and what was then College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton). The first Oklahoma football game was contested 26 years later in 1895. OU and Texas met for the first time on the gridiron in 1900.

All of that took place before the Oklahoma even achieved statehood. That wasn’t until 1907.

There have been 117 games played between OU and Texas in their rivalry series. There are a number of rivalries that are longer running than the Sooners and the Longhorns, but few that have as much tradition or as rich a history as the annual showdown in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas between the Sooners and Longhorns.

For one thing, it is rare that one or both teams are not ranked when the game is played every year. This is one of those years. It is equally unusual that both teams come in with two losses.

In addition to the colorful crowd composition of half crimson, half burnt orange, the game is contested at Fair Park during the Texas State Fair, with thousands of fair patrons milling about enjoying the food and festivities outside the stadium while the game is in progress.

This is the 94th consecutive year the OU-Texas rivalry game, officially known now as the Red River Showdown, has been played at the Cotton Bowl. Before the game was permanently moved to Dallas (in 1929), which happens to be approximately halfway between Austin and Norman, it was hosted by the two schools.

The game was played in Austin 10 times and in Houston once between 1900 and 1923. Oklahoma was the home team on six occasions during that time frame, including three times when the game was played in Oklahoma City.

Here are some other notable numbers from the OU-Texas rivalry series:

3 — Number of trophies exchanged pending the outcome of each game in the series: the Golden Hat, a gold, 10-gallon-style hat awarded to the winning team and placed on display in the winning team’s athletic department; the Governor’s Trophy, exchanged between the governors of the two states, and the Red River Rivalry Trophy, the newest of the three awards, exchanged between the student governments of the two schools.

8 — Consecutive wins by Oklahoma over Texas between 1940 and 1947, the most by either team in the long history of the rivalry. That was followed by the Sooners winning nine of the next 10 games in the series under legendary coach Bud Wilkinson.

30 — Total wins by Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer and Bob Stoops versus Texas. Switzer had the best record against Texas, at 9-5, but lost his last three games to the Longhorns. Stoops was 12-7 against Texas. Wilkinson had the worst record against the Sooners biggest rival, going 9-8, including losing his final six games against Texas.

48 — Total points scored by Texas in the six games with Oklahoma from 1952 to 1957. The Sooners’ combined points in winning all six games was 168.

50 — Oklahoma has scored 50 or more points six times against Texas since the 2000 season. The Sooners scored that many points only one time in the OU-Texas series before the 2000 season.

62 — Wins by Texas in the all-time series with Oklahoma. The Longhorns lead the overall series with a record of 62-50-5.

65 — Points scored by Oklahoma in defeating Texas 65-13 in 2003. That is the most points scored by either team in the 116-year history of the rivalry.

74 — Number of OU-Texas sellouts at the Cotton Bowl since 1948.

78 — Total number of games in the OU-Texas rivalry since 1945, or post World War II. From 1945-2020, Oklahoma has won 39 times, Texas 36 times and there have been three ties.

177 — Points by which Oklahoma has outscored Texas in the Cotton Bowl since the 2000 season.

1900 — The year of the inaugural game in this historic rivalry, won by Texas 28-2.

1963 — The game that year featured No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 2 Texas, one of only two times in the 117-year history of the series that the Sooners and Longhorns were the top two teams in the country at the time the game was played. Texas won the 1963 game 28-7 and took over the top spot in the Associated Press poll, which it held for the remainder of the season. In 1984, Texas entered the Red River rivalry game as the nation’s top-ranked team, with the Sooners sitting at No. 2. That game ended in a no-decision. The final score was 15-15. Also of note, former Texas head coach Mack Brown was on the OU sidelines for the 1984 game. He was the Sooners’ offensive coordinator that season under Barry Switzer.