A (Red) River Runs Through It: OU-Texas Is Upon Us

CeeDee Lamb Says He's Best WR In CFB

Nearly a decade has passed since the most dramatic conference restructuring in the history of the NCAA — a time during which concern as it related to maintaining the tradition and the pageantry that differentiate college football was palpable among many of us.

But we can now also admit that widespread league expansion turned out much more palatable than we’d collectively anticipated.

The college football world, as we know it, did not implode. The landscape did not chasm into four lore-less pseudo regionals — nor does it appear that such a scenario is imminent. The Big 12 did not cease to exist. Instead, the argument can be made, that the league has flourished, in spite of offensive defense.

Admittedly, my original opposition was fueled, in large part, by stark traditionalism. Naiveté? Sure, I guess. Resisting change, in any arena, is a futile campaign. The leaves will always turn, a wave of reds and yellows, indifferent to a person’s preference for warmth.

For me, as it pertains to the hallowed sport of football – and, particularly, the collegiate version – warmth can best be described as Switzer vs. Osborne,  Aggies and Longhorns on Thanksgiving day, and a Southeastern Conference comprised only of institutions located south of the Mason-Dixon line.

All were compromised by the pursuit of excess.

But in the dead of winter, the sunshine provides the promise of spring – and with it, the return of a warm breeze from summers past that once seemed so far away. Oklahoma-Nebraska will be restored, at least in part, in 2021. Similarly, multiple reports have recently surfaced that lend optimism with regards to the return of the Lonestar Showdown.

As for the cultural, geographical discernment that led Missouri to the SEC, well, as it turns out, watching an utterly delusional fan base squirm as it is inundated by weekly reality checks offers inherent entertainment value.

Suffice it to say, Middle America’s conference hasn’t missed the Tigers, nor has it missed Colorado. Nebraska fits right in with the Big Ten, and they haven’t been your father’s Cornhuskers since Eric Crouch won the Heisman.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M has adapted favorably to its new league, and vice versa, serving as a natural rival for division-mate, Arkansas.

In other words, college football is still college football. All is well. But never is the sport so romantic as when the Sooners and Longhorns meet beneath Big Tex.

There is no setting in college football quite like it.

Ohio State–Michigan may be bigger; it may not be. But the spectacle of the Red River Rivalry is unmatched. It is the essence of college football at its pinnacle.

Most games are just that – one game. This isn’t that. This is three straight days of crimson versus orange, the invasion of one of our country’s largest cities, a score to be settled in a neutral setting – a good ‘ole fashioned western shootout at high noon. 

Twelve months of angst is decided in four quarters – 60 minutes for 365 days.

Thursday night is a celebration. Friday night is, too. But you had better sleep in on Friday morning, because you won’t find shut-eye again until Saturday afternoon.

I understand the reasoning behind the noon eastern kickoff, the national broadcast, yada, yada. But I’ve always wondered if the powers that be don’t simply enjoy the social experiment involved with pulling fans out of beds that we no more found our way to, only to usher us away to the most intense sporting environment known to man.

No matter, the Cotton Bowl brings out the best in us all. A river runs through it, so to speak, a boundary between territories and teams. Divided, a sea of burnt orange abruptly turns to crimson and creme; half in ecstasy, half in despair.

The passion fueling the rush of adrenaline that carries each through this day is one handed down from generation to generation. From Barry and Daryl to Bob and Mack. From grandfathers, to fathers, to sons and daughters.

OU-Texas is a rite of fall. Nothing else matters on the second Saturday in October. There is a rank to maintain, a guard to reclaim. It’s the Red River.

Let it flow.

Familiar Foes: CAA, MVFC Meet For 22nd Time When JMU Hosts UNI

Saturday’s national quarterfinal showdown between James Madison and Northern Iowa marks the 22nd all-time meeting of Colonial Athletic Association and Missouri Valley Football Conference programs in the FCS Playoffs. 

Dominant Defenses Collide At Bridgeforth When JMU Hosts UNI

James Madison and Northern Iowa meet in Friday’s national quarterfinals with a similar look – and we’re not just referring to purple-gold-and-white uniforms. 

JMU's Ron'Dell Carter Named Finalist For Buck Buchanan Award

Ron'Dell Carter Has Arrived

James Madison senior defensive end Ron’Dell Carter has been voted one of three finalists for the 2019 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding defensive player at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.

JMU Is Hitting On All Cylinders Heading Into Quarterfinal Round

Rashad Robinson's Ready For His Close-Up

No. 2 overall seed James Madison kicked off its 2019 FCS Playoffs in a fashion indicative of how the Dukes have played all season. 

JMU Crushes Monmouth As Myriad Program Records Fall

CAA champion James Madison piled up a program playoff record 623 yards of total offense and hammered 14th-ranked Monmouth 66-21 in the second round of the FCS Playoffs.

Dukes By The Numbers: JMU Has Been Even More Dominant Than You Realize

HIGHLIGHTS: JMU vs William & Mary

Statistically speaking, James Madison has been one of the best teams in college football throughout the 2019 season. 

JMU's Offensive Line Is Paving The Way For A Title Run

Sessions playing Call of Duty can get pretty heated among the James Madison offensive line. 

UAlbany's Defense Is Flexing Its Muscle At The Perfect Time

In a season with running back Karl Mofor leading the Colonial Athletic Association in rushing, quarterback Jeff Undercuffler leading the nation in passing touchdowns, and wide receivers Juwan Green and Jerah Reeves making one spectacular grab after another, the UAlbany offense garnering attention stands to reason. 

The Future Of UAlbany Football Is Being Constructed As We Speak

Although only 180 miles separate their campuses, it took more than a century for the game born at Rutgers University in 1869 to make its way to UAlbany. 

Jeff Undercuffler Leads UAlbany To First FCS Playoff Win

Redshirt-freshman quarterback Jeff Undercuffler threw six TD passes and Juwan Green hauled in two TDs as the University at Albany football team rolled past Central Connecticut State, 42-12, in the program’s first-ever FCS Playoff win.