Red River still reigns on Oklahoma schedule

Oklahoma has one of the best nonconference schedules in the Big 12, complete with a trip through college football history when they head to South Bend in September to play Notre Dame.

But the Sooners have their own historic venue to play in come October. According to our poll voters, the Sooners' game against Texas in the Cotton Bowl at the State Fair of Texas on Oct. 12 is the biggest of the season.

No doubt about it, beating Texas provides a whole lot of pep in the Sooners' step for the rest of the season. If you had no idea who won the game, it would take about two minutes of walking through Fair Park after Red River to figure it out. It's not surprising to see the fans pick Texas here, but I couldn't disagree more.

Texas is a huge game and carries a lot of significance, no doubt. It's not the biggest game on the schedule, though. That honor goes to Bedlam, which got just 29 percent of the vote compared to the 40 percent who voted for Texas. Oklahoma's trip to Notre Dame got 20 percent of the vote, ahead of games against Baylor (six percent) and TCU (five percent).

I would be willing to bet just about anything that either Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or both will be playing for a Big 12 title (or at least a share) next season in Stillwater. Oklahoma State has been a better overall program than Texas the past three seasons and might be again this season. Still, those in-state bragging rights have been up for grabs the past two years, and the Sooners can't afford to lose them again. For Oklahoma, the only thing worse than the rare occasion it doesn't win a Big 12 title is watching Oklahoma State win one.

The Sooners will probably get a shot to prevent it from happening on OSU's home field to close the season. Texas is a good team, but it's hard to definitively trust this group of guys will win enough games to win a title. The quality wins just haven't been there among the 17 Ws over the last two seasons.

That's not the case for Oklahoma State, and for me, the opportunity to have a definitive hand in where the Big 12 trophy lands on the final weekend of the season makes Bedlam the biggest game on Oklahoma's schedule in 2013.