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Brent Venables Says 'Nothing' is Like the Oklahoma-Texas Rivalry; 'The Hate is Real'

Venables spoke on what makes the Red River Showdown so special at an OU Coaches Caravan stop in Dallas last week.

DALLAS – Brent Venables knows a thing or two about big games.

From his days at Kansas State, to his first stint at Oklahoma, to the last decade at Clemson, Venables has taken part in a plethora of national title games, conference championship matchups and classic rivalries.

But, in his mind, one game stands above the rest.

“In all my games I’ve ever been in, and I’ve been in some big stages, eight national championships, 19 conference championships, nobody’s counting, but there ain’t nothing like walking down that dang ramp in the Cotton Bowl,” Venables told the crowd at an OU Coaches Caravan stop in Dallas last week.

Venables, who coached in the Red River Showdown yearly from 1999-2011 as an Oklahoma assistant, noted the emotion of the annual Sooners-Longhorns matchup as what sets it apart.

“The passion, the intensity, the love, the hate,” Venables said. “The hate is real. You’ve got to have some hate in your heart when you talk about that game.”

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Cotton Bowl

Speculation has run wild in recent years of whether or not the game could be moved at some point out of the Cotton Bowl and the Texas State Fair, but it sounds like Venables would be one starkly against a change in location.

For he, like many fans of Oklahoma and Texas alike, see the venue and game time as part of the pageantry of what makes the game so special.

“It’s an amazing venue,” Venables said. “Tremendous platform, ABC. 11 o’clock. Nobody (needs) to remind the Sooners when and where that game is going to be.”

While the Sooners will be undergoing lots of change in the years to come in the transition to the SEC, Texas making the conference transition as well helps keep intact one of the premier rivalries in the sport.

Something Venables says Oklahoma is very fortunate to be a part of and won’t take for granted.

“It’s one of the most storied and tradition rich rivalries in the history of college football,” Venables said. “We’re really proud to be a part of that.”