Texas/Oklahoma vs. Pitt/West Virginia
Page 2

  • The teams first played each other in 1900, before Oklahoma was even a state.

  • Texas leads the series, 55-38-5.

  • Oklahoma beat Texas 65-13 in this year's matchup, played on Oct. 11.
  • The Panthers and Mountaineers have played the "Backyard Brawl" since 1895.

  • Pittsburgh leads the series, 58-35-3.

  • West Virginia beat Pittsburgh 52-31 on Nov. 15 this year.
  • Oklahoma/Texas
    As neutral as neutral can be
    The game is played every year in Dallas at the Texas State Fair. Each school gets 38,000 tickets.

    Don't worry, Prez, those boos are for me
    A day before the 1976 Crude Feud, Texas coach Darrell Royal called Oklahoma's coaches "sorry bastards," in what he thought was an off-the-record remark (one day earlier, he had accused them of spying). The AP printed the comment. The following day, Royal escorted President Gerald Ford out to midfield for the coin toss.

    "Mr. President, there's probably going to be some reaction when I come out of this tunnel," warned Royal. "This is the Oklahoma end of the stadium, and they've already booed me once out there. They may start booing and raising hell again."

    "Well, I'm big enough to handle it," Ford replied.

    Later, the Oklahoma coaches admitted to spying. But that wasn't what bugged the fans. It was the "sorry bastards" comment.

    It's more than just a game
    When the teams met in 1963, Texas was ranked No. 2 and Oklahoma No. 1. Texas shut down OU's star running back, Joe Don Looney, and won, 28-7. Shortly after, Sooners coach Bud Wilkinson retired, and announced he would run for the Senate in 1964. One Oklahoma state rep predicted the loss would cost Wilkinson 50,000-75,000 votes.

    Nobody knows what would have happened if Oklahoma had won. But Wilkinson lost by 20,000 votes.

    The Classic Game
    1984. Sooners ranked No. 5. Longhorns ranked No. 1. Rain-swamped field. Little offense. Lots of controversial calls. Tie game, 15-15.
    --Jeff Merron

    Rivalry, shmivalry
    West Virginia coach Don Nehlen, 1997: "Before we were in [the Big East], the game may have been a little different. You know, they called it the Backyard Brawl and all that crap. But we're in the league now, and all league games are big games."

    Will Leroy be back?
    Last year, Leroy, a mannequin dressed as a Mountaineer fan (he wore a flannel shirt that read, "Go WVU") debuted before the game. Created by Pitt fans, Leroy, holding a cigarette lighter, sat on a black sofa. Next to him was a sign that read, "No, Leroy. Git off the couch before you lite it."

    Earlier in the year, Mountaineer fans had set couches on fire after a game.

    The Classic Game
    In 1989, both teams were ranked in the top 10. Pitt trailed 31-9 with less than 10 minutes remaining. The Panthers rallied, scoring 22 points as Ed Frazier kicked a 42-yard game-tying figgie as time expired.

    Gee, how generous
    In both 1954 and 1955, Pitt prevented the Mountaineers from having an unbeaten season. In 1955, West Virginia took a sound beating in Pittsburgh, made even worse because Pitt fans, celebrating prematurely, tore down the goal posts before the game ended. So when the Mountaineers scored a TD late in the game, they couldn't kick an extra point. Pitt gave it to them.

    Now, give me a nice hug
    Jack Fleming, the late Pittsburgh radio announcer, grew up in a Morgantown house that had a good view of the football stadium. Beano Cook, when he was Pitt's sports information director, told the story he heard from Fleming. "When the Pitt players would come onto the field, [his mother would] point at them and tell Jack, 'That's Pitt. You hate Pitt now. You will hate Pitt tomorrow. You will hate Pitt your whole life. And you will hate Pitt after you die."'
    --Jeff Merron


    Vote: College Football's Best Rivalry

    SportsNation: Send a message to your rival

    Ohio State/Michigan vs. Colorado/Nebraska

    USC/UCLA vs. Grambling/Southern

    Cal/Stanford vs. Ole Miss/Mississippi St.

    Army/Navy vs. Amherst/Williams

    Florida/Georgia vs. Clemson/South Carolina

    Auburn/Alabama vs. Washington/Wash. St.

    Harvard/Yale vs. Miami/Florida St.

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