Nebraska fans this week will dive into the memory bank and pull out scenes of Huskers and Sooners facing off from decades ago.
They’ll talk about when Nebraska finally got over the hump, how games each season determined who would play for a national title, and whether or not there was more hate or respect between the fanbases.
For the guys playing in the game though? NU-OU is mostly secondhand knowledge. After all, the last time these two teams met was in 2010.
“That puts me at 13 (years old),” defensive lineman Ben Stille said Monday. “I don’t know a ton of how much I remember distinctly.”
Stille is one of the oldest players on the team, a super senior born in 1997. For those who are even younger, like offensive lineman Turner Corcoran, it isn’t what most think of when they think Nebraska-Oklahoma.
Corcoran was born a few months ahead of the last season the Huskers competed for a national title.
“I think its a really cool opportunity for us to be able spark that rivalry back, getting back to the Big 12,” Corcoran said.
The Big 12.
While the two schools did compete together in the amalgamation with the defunct Southwest Conference for 15 years, playing ten times, games from further back in history are what top the list of greatest NU-OU games for most Husker fans.
Not for many born after 1985 though, and especially not those born around the turn of the century.
“The Game of the Century was in the '60s, or '70s?” linebacker Luke Reimer asked members of the media. The group answered 1971.
“Shows you how much I know.”
But the game will definitely hold an impact for the coaches. Scott Frost played Oklahoma twice as a player, winning 73-21 in 1996 and 69-7 in 1997.
It is a rivalry he grew up on in central Nebraska.
“This was my favorite game of the year growing up,” Frost said. “It’s gonna be special to be a part of it in a different role.”
That’s the same feeling most fans carry this week. For many of us ("us" being millennials and younger, sorry), true knowledge of Huskers and Sooners battling it out comes from our dad who went to every game while at UNL, or our grandma who still listens to each game on the radio in the kitchen.
Familial knowledge of the rivalry runs deeper than life experience with it for the younger crowd.
But even with this game being more for the fans who actually lived the rivalry, the atmosphere in Norman should be electric this season and then in Lincoln next season, even though the teams haven’t met in over a decade.
After all, one of the most intense games I witnessed in Memorial Stadium was when Miami came to town in 2015, the first time in decades the two teams hadn’t met playing for a trophy.
As Reimer said, shows you how much I know.