2016 was a banner year for bad predictions, and we were no exception here at The Daily Texan Editorial Board. In last year’s editorial exchange, we mistakenly predicted that Bob Stoops would stick around to help the next generation of Sooners remember all 14 distinct words of your fight song. Unfortunately for y’all, it seems that Stoops preferred retiring and watching reruns of Judge Judy in his underwear over another year stuck in America’s WonderBread basket.
His replacement, Lincoln Riley, has brought an innovative edge to the program. As he finds ways to lose the little games instead of just the big ones, you could watch Stoops lose for free on your antenna. Now, not only are you falling flat at home to the Trinidad and Tobago of the Big 12, you couldn’t even saddle Baylor with the karmic beatdown they deserve. It’s a shame — that was the one game we could have actually considered rooting for you.
So maybe this season hasn’t quite gotten off to the start y’all expected. But hey, weird things happen. Good teams slip up against mediocre teams at home early on. At least Urban Meyer and J.T. Barrett look like they’ve righted the ship.
Meanwhile, the more things change, the more they stay the same on the 40 Acres. A freshman quarterback, a hotshot new coach with a history of beating y’all, and a moral victory snatched from the jaws of actual victory against an overrated opponent. We’re Schrodinger’s Texas — both back and not back simultaneously, and just dead enough inside to be dangerous.
Standing in our way is your human D.A.R.E. advertisement of a quarterback, Baker Mayfield. His tape displays an above-average elusiveness, but not enough of a final burst to evade the SEC speed of the Fayetteville Police Department — or that wall. And Fayetteville? A rookie mistake from the veteran: Even Johnny Manziel had the sense to at least get arrested in Austin.
But there is a crucial difference for us this year: Unlike its previous iterations, we know the 112th Red River rivalry will be a win-win for the Longhorns. Even if we don’t beat y’all, those who lose to Lincoln still get immortalized for generations at the University of Texas.
We also welcome both of our new field generals to the rivalry at a tumultuous time for college sports — well, maybe just in Oklahoma. If your mulleted cousins in Stillwater are willing to bribe recruits for their basketball team, their third-most important sport after spring football practice, then we should assume they’re not alone. Maybe that’s why your secondary is playing like it’s on strike for better pay. At least we know we aren’t paying our kicker.
Still, the special hate we’ve crafted over the last 111 meetings doesn’t need to be tainted like this. While others know you as people who just got Netflix this week because “Talladega Nights” starts streaming on Friday, we also know you as the people who cut us off in your pre-owned Dodge Rams in order to get the McRib slightly faster. That constant reminder that y’all still haven’t culturally made it to 2009 inspires so much disdain towards you that our fans actually tune in to watch our basketball teams play twice a season.
So while we both begin exciting new chapters in our programs’ storied histories, some things will never change. Instead of playing half-full arenas in Jacksonville, your famed almost-alumnus Toby Keith proceeded to party with a president who, like your fans, seems to think it’s a good idea to challenge our alumni to IQ contests you both are certain to lose. Who knew that Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” actually referred to the Russian flag?
Probably not the Kremlin itself, given that their horses prefer vodka. But there is one message no language barrier could confuse — OU still sucks.
This column is part of The Daily's traditional column exchange with The Daily Texan. You can read ours here.