3:07 p.m., Thursday: What do you remember about the Nebraska-Oklahoma series?
You tell me. Email me your favorite memories of this series. And tell me which games or moments you consider to be classic.
I contend the magic in this series belonged to singular moments, not necessarily great games. The games often didn't live up to the three-month-long hype.
I've followed this series since 1977. I remember watching the 1971 thriller in my basement in Kansas City before Thanksgiving dinner. The 1978 game in Lincoln stood out as a compelling brawl with jaw-dropping hits and great plays by great players, Rick Berns scoring in a shower of oranges, Billy Sims' fumble. The emotions of that game flew out of your TV set.
But other than that, what was there?
There was the Elvis Peacock play in 1976. There was Buster Rhymes in 1980. Those were moments. The 1979-81 games weren't that memorable. In 1982, there was the bouncearooski to Irving Fryar and Scott Strasburger's interception late. Not a great game, though. In 1983, Nebraska's best team struggled with one of OU's more average teams and Neil Harris saved the day by batting away a pass in the end zone. Again, no classic.
In 1984, Brian Bosworth (before he was the "Boz") helped OU with a goal line stand in Lincoln. In 1985, I remember Keith Jackson scoring reverse for a TD in Norman. In 1986, Jamelle Holieway and Jackson did some late-game magic to break NU's heart again. In 1987, it was "Game of the Century II,'' No. 1 vs. No. 2, in Lincoln. But it didn't live up to the hype. It was a defensive brawl won by OU, which went on to play Miami in the Orange Bowl in Jimmy Johnson's lone national championship.
In 1988, the final year of Tom Osborne vs. Barry Switzer, Steve Taylor and Broderick Thomas finally got their Big Eight ring in the freezing rain in Norman. Again, no classic there.
After that, Colorado came into the picture. So did Howard Schnellenberger and John Blake. The series was about over. We got Eric Crouch's catch from Mike Stuntz in 2001. That was the last great moment.
Maybe I'm wrong. Feel free to chime in. But this seemed to be a series whose legacy was built on great coaches, great players and great moments more than games you remember. And the colorful nature of Barry Switzer, his appearance on the Bob Devaney show, etc., the relationships between OU-NU fans and the see-you-next-year nature of the series.
Hopefully we'll get that great game this Saturday in Dallas.
Tom Shatel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.