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Oklahoma vs. Nebraska: History of rivalry between the Sooners and the Cornhuskers

We take a look back at the storied history between the two programs who will meet this weekend in Lincoln.

NCAA Photos Archive

Once a great football rivalry, the Nebraska-Oklahoma game, like so many others, was torn apart by conference realignment. But the Sooners and the Cornhuskers agreed on a home-and-home series for 2021 and 2022 to commemorate the 1971 Game of the Century, when the two programs met on the field as No. 1 and No. 2.

A lot has changed since 1971 — really, a lot has changed since earlier this week. Nebraska has an interim head coach at the helm after firing Scott Frost. Former Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is in his first year leading No. 6 Oklahoma, and the Sooners will travel up to Lincoln this weekend for a noon ET kickoff on Saturday, Sept. 17.

History of Oklahoma Sooners vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Total games played: 87
Record: Oklahoma is 46-38-3
Last game: Oklahoma won 23-16 in Norman in 2021

Biggest game in series history: 1971, Game of the Century

Nebraska was the defending national champion and the No. 1 seed, and Oklahoma was No. 2. They were conference rivals at the time in the Big Eight, and Nebraska’s top-ranked defense was going head-to-head with the country’s best offense on Thanksgiving Day of 1971.

The Huskers coach had his players’ food flown in from Lincoln for fear of poisoning. This game had enormous ramifications for the national championship title. Nebraska would win the game, 35-31, and go on to win the national title.

Most important player in series history: Jeff Kinney & Johnny Rodgers

Kinney and Rodgers made up the Nebraska backfield for the Game of the Century, in which the Cornhuskers emerged victorious after the two backs made huge plays on the winning drive of the game. Rodgers would go on to win the 1972 Heisman Trophy, and Kinney to be a first-round draft pick.

Odds for 2022

Spread: Oklahoma -11
Total: Over/Under 65.5
Moneyline: Oklahoma -410, Nebraska +330

The Huskers are without head coach Scott Frost after a very disappointing few seasons. Oklahoma, abandoned by head coach Lincoln Riley in the offseason, has bounced back with new head coach Brent Venables and deft use of the transfer portal.

Oklahoma should be able to win this game with relative ease, unless a brand-new Nebraska team is somehow unlocked within one week of a loss to Georgia Southern.