The Texas Longhorns will win the Red River Rivalry. My reasoning for that declaration can be summed up in one question: Who has OU played this year? Answer: NOBODY.
Let's look at who the 4-1 Sooners have played this year:
-They knocked off 2 winless teams in UNT (0-4) and Utah St. (0-5). Congratulations.
-They beat a Miami team that is 4-1, but the teams the Hurricanes beat to get those 4 wins, Marshall, Florida International, Texas A&M and Duke, are a combined 5-15 INCLUDING A&M's 4-1 record. Way to go Sooners, you beat a team who hasn't played anybody either.
-Then there's Tulsa. The teams they beat this year, ULM, BYU and UAB are a whopping 4-9 this season. If that's the win the Sooners are hanging their hat on, they should be ashamed of themselves.
-Oh, and what about the team that beat OU? Well, Colorado is 3-2 with a narrow win over Colorado St. (0-4), and losses to Arizona St. and Florida State.
By the way, not a single team that the Sooners have played so far this year is currently ranked in the Top 25. Oklahoma's opponents' combined record is below .500 at 10-13.
Now to 4-1 Texas:
Every team the Horns have played this year has won at least one ballgame.
-They beat Arkansas St. who is 2-2, their only other loss coming to Tennessee out of the SEC.
-They beat then ranked #19 TCU which is now 3-2, their only other loss coming to Air Force.
-Then there's Central Florida who nearly beat Texas in Orlando. UCF's record is 3-1, they're undefeated except for Texas.
-Rice has the worst record of UT's opponents at 1-4, but including their loss to the Longhorns they fell to Baylor and Texas Tech. 3 Big 12 teams on their non-confrence schedule... Rice is a team that HAS played somebody this year.
-And Kansas St. who is now ranked #24 in the nation carries a 3-1 record. Their only blemish coming in a Week 1 loss to Auburn.
Among the 5 teams that Texas has played so far, 2 are, or were at one time ranked in the Top 25. UT's opponents' combined record this year is above .500 at 12-10.
In conclusion, the Longhorns are the more tested team, by far. They have actually had to compete in more than one game this year to earn the win. In the only game this season that OU has actually had to compete, they lost. Texas is more ready for the high level of competition awaiting them at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. Texas won't win big, but they'll win nonetheless.
Mark Van Paasschen