It’s been circled on calendars for 10 months.
It’s been talked about since December 5, 2009.
It’s lost some of its hype on the national stage, but locally, in Nebraska, this is the most anticipated game in some time.
It’s October 16. It’s Texas vs Nebraska.
Some folks wearing red on Saturday will call this game revenge. There is no need to remind the Big Red faithful about the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game. You know the game that left Nebraska one second shy of the biggest win in the Bo Pelini era.
This game, however, is not revenge. The teams are different. There’s no McCoy. There’s no Suh. This is not for a championship of any kind. It is simply a game that will give Husker fans pride as the University of Nebraska puts the Big 12 conference in the rear view mirror. While this game cannot erase history, it can ease some of the pain in the program. The pain of not being able to beat Texas but one time in nine tries since the inception of the Big 12 conference. In fact, the Huskers were ranked in seven of those meetings and only won it one time. And that lone win was the second time the two teams met in 1999 after Texas beat Nebraska in the game following the Red River Rivalry.
Mack Brown and the Longhorns have been very good in the game following the Red River Rivalry. The Longhorns have never lost after playing Oklahoma, win or lose. They are 12-0. The last time the boys from UT lost after the Red River Rivalry was in 1997 under head coach John Mackovic.
This game marks only the second time Texas has entered without a top 25 rankings. The other time was in 1998, Mack Brown’s first trip to Lincoln. The Huskers held a No. 7 ranking, but were stunned by the Major Applewhite and Ricky Williams led Longhorns 20-16.
The two teams have met three times in Lincoln. Texas has won all three by a combined nine points. But the margin of victory has been getting smaller. After the four point win in 1998, the Horns went to Lincoln in 2002 and beat the unranked Huskers by three points, 27-24. In 2006 the No. 17 Huskers welcomed No. 5 Texas to Memorial Stadium but again fell victim 22-20. Would it be coincidence if the Longhorns left Lincoln with a one point victory to complete the 4, 3, 2, 1 waterfall? Yes, the Huskers lost by one point last year, but it wasn’t in Lincoln. There is a trend here and it’s up to the 2010 Huskers to break that trend.
If Nebraska wins the game it will unlock a handful of “firsts.” It will be the first time the Mack Brown coached Longhorns lost after playing Oklahoma. It will be the first time Nebraska has defended its home field in the series (since the inception of the Big 12). It will be the first time a higher ranked Nebraska team has beaten Texas. It will be the first time the Huskers beat an unranked Texas team.
But it will also be the last time……the last time the two teams meet as conference opponents.
Nebraska will be prepared for this game. The entire program wants this win, hence why they launched a “Wear Red, Be Loud, Beat Texas” campaign in July and why fans are calling for a “Red Out Around the World.”
Texas will also be prepared. The Longhorns are fresh off a bye week. They want to send Nebraska out of the Big 12 just the way Texas entered the conference…a win in Lincoln.
No matter how the game turns out, one thing it for sure; it’s going to be loud at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The only remaining question is this; will history repeat itself and the Longhorns stun the Huskers in Lincoln or will Nebraska change the series history on its way to changing the Big 12?