A high-profile September showdown between former conference rivals may not happen after all.
Nebraska is reportedly “trying to get out of playing Oklahoma” in a nonconference game scheduled for Sept. 18, according to Stadium's Brett McMurphy. The game was originally scheduled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a game coined The Game of the Century between then No. 1 Nebraska and No. 2 OU. McMurphy reports that the Cornhuskers have contacted other schools to play on that date.
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione tweeted Friday that Oklahoma "fully intends to play the game as it is scheduled."
The series was originally scheduled in 2012 by Castiglione and then-Huskers AD Tom Osborne. It included two games–2021 in Norman, Okla., and 2022 in Lincoln, Neb. In 2016, games were agreed to for 2029 in Norman and 2030 in Lincoln.
It's unclear what will happen to the remaining games in the series if the 2021 matchup is taken off the books. The teams have not played each other since 2010 in the Big 12 championship game, a matchup Oklahoma won 23–20. The Sooners lead the all-time series 45-38-3.
Nebraska's nonconference schedule in 2021 also features games against Buffalo and Southeastern Louisiana, both of which are set to be played in Lincoln. McMurphy reports Nebraska was looking for a third home game to replace the Oklahoma matchup. Those games will be part of a critical fourth season of the Scott Frost era in Lincoln after the Cornhuskers finished under .500 in each of his first three seasons as head coach.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma enters the 2021 season with incredibly high expectations. The Sooners were SI's No. 4 team in the country in its way-too-early top 25 for 2021 behind star quarterback Spencer Rattler, a top preseason candidate for the Heisman Trophy.