Never too early to talk Red River Rivalry

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
8:30
AM ET
The view from here (July) to there (October) is supposed to allow for perspective.

Yeah, right.

Since the SEC’s belt-loosening growth has stripped Oklahoma and Texas of two Big 12 opponents, especially former Big 12 South rival Texas A&M, perspective has gone right out the window. The Red River Rivalry just might be the only rivalry game in town.

Sooners Celebration
J.P. Wilson/Icon SMIOklahoma has the upper hand in the rivalry after 2011's win, but it's only three months until kickoff.
Texas, always the more ho-hum about its in-state rivals, now no longer has the distraction of Texas A&M. The Longhorns sole focus for seasons won or lost is now Oklahoma. It’s a focused ire.

Oklahoma’s hatred has always been more myopic. Even in the days of Nebraska, Texas still boiled more blood. Even with Oklahoma State finally hitting puberty, Texas still sits atop the hit list.

So even though it might be way too hot for face paint in July, a mask of crimson and cream or burnt orange and white is not going to turn heads this time of year, but rather, elicit knowing nods.

South of the Red River they will be in agreement that all those Bob Stoops loving, Toby Keith toboggan hat wearing, land-grabbing, Pac-12 rejects need nothing more than, in the words of Keith, to put a boot in their … And, since it’s Texas, that boot will undoubtedly be a Justin Roper.

North of that trickle of water, they are all in agreement that every Mack Brown apologist with a pained Matthew McConaughey frat daddy drawl and sense of entitlement that was more self-bestowed due to size and money rather than wins and titles needs nothing more than to see yet another sea of downward turned Hook’ems in the Cotton Bowl.

Yeah, perspective is now long gone. It probably won’t ever be regained either. Oklahoma and Texas are begrudgingly wed for better or worse. Because the bond of hatred has become stronger it has now become more visible year round.

So it is not only OK to obsess of the Red River Rivalry in July, it’s welcomed. It’s an affirmation that not only is football just a few more triple-digit weeks away, but that Oklahoma is still there for Texas and Texas for Oklahoma. And that history, which has been washed away by the confluence of new alignments among college football bloodlines, still remains intact in the Red River Rivalry.

And it is history that gives us substance and depth. Most importantly, it gives us something to talk about in July. And that’s what we’re doing. Consider it a gift from HornsNation and SoonerNation. Some summer reading or something to pass the time away this week at the lake or on vacation.

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation

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