5 greatest Red River Rivalry games from Oklahoma and Texas’s time in the Big 12

The Red River Rivalry is heading for the SEC, so it's time to look back at the 28 years Texas and Oklahoma shared in the Big 12.
Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (26)
Oklahoma's Kennedy Brooks (26) / BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY
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The Red River Rivalry is getting a new time slot and is heading to a new conference. Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte is undaunted by all of the change, telling Paul Finebaum “There’s nothing like this game,” then comparing it to other SEC rivalries, “You may talk about the Cocktail Party, the Iron Bowl, there’s nothing like this game at the State Fair. 

Not that the Longhorns needed a bigger target on their backs heading into the SEC coming off a College Football Playoff appearance, but Del Conte seems determined to place on there. Naturally, Del Conte’s comments drew the ire of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Auburn fans for an unsolicited shot at their longstanding traditions, but his message also unintentionally ushered in a new era of the Red River Rivalry, effectively turning the page on a 28-year-long chapter with both Oklahoma and Texas sharing the Big 12. 

Both schools entered the league in 1996 when the Big 8, which began as the Big 6 with Oklahoma as an original member in 1928, expanded to the Big 12. So of the 28 matchups during the Big 12 era, these five were the best. 

5. 2023 No. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Texas

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There have been plenty of fantastic Red River Rivalry games in recent years and as the last game of the Big 12 era, the 2023 edition did not disappoint. Heading into the fourth quarter, Oklahoma led 27-20, but the Longhorns scored 10 unanswered points and the Sooners offense stalled after an injury to wide receiver Andrel Anthony. 

However, with 1:17 left, Dillon Gabriel and Oklahoma got the ball back and the veteran quarterback orchestrated a 75-yard touchdown drive, capped off by a pass to Nic Anderson in the back of the end zone with 15 seconds left on the clock. Gabriel’s heroic effort cemented him as a Red River Rivalry legend and nearly kept Texas out of the College Football Playoff.