Hatred. Tradition. State Pride. The Red River Rivalry is everything we love about college football. The iconic State Fair of Texas and the historic Cotton Bowl serve as the backdrop to one of the most passionate rivalries in college sports. Half of the Cotton Bowl will be wearing Burnt Orange and a Horns Up hand sign while the other half will wear Crimson and Cream and will flash a Horns Down symbol.
Oklahoma State will take its bye week with Texas on the schedule next and Bedlam taking place in Stillwater at the end of November. After its 5-0 start and place atop the Big 12 standings- this game has ramifications for OSU no matter who wins.
If Texas takes home the Golden Hat, Oklahoma State will be the last remaining undefeated team in the Big 12 Conference. Texas and OSU would both still be undefeated in conference play and would set up a showdown between undefeated Big 12 teams in Austin on October 16th.
If Oklahoma wins the Golden Hat, the Sooners and Cowboys would remain the only two undefeated teams in the Big 12 Conference and the slim chances of Bedlam being a matchup of undefeated teams would still be alive.
The Golden Hat was donated by the State Fair of Texas in 1941 and the winner of each Red River Rivalry game keeps the hat until the next Red River Rivalry game. Oklahoma has held onto the Golden Hat since a 2019 win over Texas. Oklahoma also beat Texas in the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game after Texas beat the Sooners in the 2018 Red River Rivalry.
The Governor’s of each state also exchange the Governor’s Cup at each game. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt will bring the Governor’s Cup to Dallas this weekend and Texas Governor Gregg Abbott will get to take the Governor’s Cup back to Austin if the Longhorns prevail over the Sooners. The Governor’s Cup was donated by Dolph Briscoe, the 41st Governor of Texas (1973-1979). This year’s game will be the 85th consecutive year the Red River Rivalry is hosted at the Cotton Bowl and the State Fair of Texas.
Oklahoma’s season hasn’t gone as well as coach Lincoln Riley would have hoped, or how many experts predicted before the season. OU was regarded as a serious title contender with a preseason No. 3 ranking by the AP Poll and quarterback Spencer Rattler named to numerous award watch lists. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma might be the two most unimpressive 5-0 teams in the country. The Sooners beat Tulane by five points to open the year before surviving a bad Nebraska team by a touchdown at home. Conference play hasn’t been kind to OU either as it beat West Virginia by three points at home and finally conquered its Kansas State demons with a six point win in the Little Apple.
Texas is 4-1 and has had a predictable up-and-down start to the Steve Sarkisian era. The Horns looked good with Hudson Card at quarterback in a win against Louisiana to open the season. That good feeling last exactly a week before Card underwhelmed and was eventually replaced with backup Casey Thompson in a 40-21 loss to Arkansas on the road. Thompson engineered two touchdown drives against Arkansas and then captained the Texas offense to a 58-0 win over Rice and a 70-35 win over Texas Tech. Texas looked less impressive last week in a 32-27 win over TCU as Thompson passed for 142 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
All of that leads to the latest installment of the Red River Rivalry. Oklahoma State is naturally intertwined with Texas and Oklahoma at this point in time as a result of the standings. Those three teams are the last three remaining undefeated teams in conference play. OU and OSU are the only two remaining undefeated teams overall, as Texas has the loss to Arkansas. After this weekend, the Big 12 will only have two teams that remain undefeated in conference play.
A Longhorns win would vault Texas up from No. 21 in the AP Top-25 and could result in a slow start against OSU after a “hangover” like win. A loss could drop the Horns from the AP Top-25 and cause more of a sense of urgency against Oklahoma State. The last time Texas beat Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry the Horns proceeded to beat a 7-6 Baylor team at home 23-17 before rising to No. 6 and losing to a 7-6 Oklahoma State team on the road 38-35.
Regardless of what happens on Saturday, the Red River Rivalry should be a great game. College GameDay will be on hand for pregame festivities and Kirk Herbstreit will call the game alongside Chris Fowler on ABC at 11 on Saturday morning. It doesn’t get much better than a crisp October afternoon in the Texas sun at the Red River Rivalry. OSU fans can sit back and enjoy the game knowing the Cowboys undefeated record will survive another week.