On Saturday, December 4, 2010, the Universities of Nebraska & Oklahoma will meet for the 86th time in football competition. This rivalry began in 1912 and the teams have been members of the same conference since 1928. Although, this will be only the second time these two teams have met in an official conference championship game (the first having been the 2006 Big 12 Championship) the teams have held both of the top two spots of the Big Six or Big Eight conference 21 times. Prior to the establishment of the Big 12 conference, Nebraska and Oklahoma had each acquired 26 conference championships in 65 years of play.
On five occasions, Oklahoma has given Nebraska their only loss of the regular season. Nebraska has done the same to Oklahoma in three seasons. Oklahoma leads the series 44-38-3. Saturday’s contest will be the 15th Big 12 championship game. It will be the 8th appearance in the championship game for the Sooners and the 6th for the Cornhuskers. Oklahoma has earned six Big 12 titles and Nebraska has earned two. 30 of the previous 85 games have been decided by a touchdown or less.The very first football game played in Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium was versus the University of Oklahoma in 1959.
Next season, for the first time in 83 years, Oklahoma and Nebraska will play in different conferences, effectively ending this traditional rivalry.
This game holds meaning for me, because I also am starting a new chapter in my life and have just gone through some traditional rituals as a part of that transition process. I am reminded that tradition is not just a mirror to the past, but a gateway to the future.