The Red River Showdown, more commonly called the Red River Shootout, or alternatively the Red River Classic, or the Red River Rivalry, is the Oklahoma–Texas football rivalry. It is an American college football rivalry game played annually at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, Texas, during the State Fair of Texas in October. The participants are the Oklahoma Sooners football team of the University of Oklahoma and the Texas Longhorns football team of the University of Texas at Austin. The game is played the week following the State Fair Classic featuring Prairie View A&M University and Grambling State University. The series is one of the major rivalries in NCAA football and in all of American sports. The name is derived from the Red River that forms part of the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma that has in the past caused conflict between the two states, most notably the 1931 Red River Bridge War.|
In 1958, Texas defeated Oklahoma by one point, breaking the University of Oklahoma's series dominance of the 1950s. The game was notable in that Texas Longhorns head coach Darrell Royal had 10 years earlier been the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. Royal defeated his former coach and mentor Bud Wilkinson in the game. Wilkinson would lose to Texas the next five years before retiring in 1963.
The 1976 rivalry game was overshadowed by allegations by Texas coach Darrell Royal that Oklahoma had been spying on his practices. The claim was later confirmed in OU Coach Barry Switzer's book, Bootlegger's Boy. Royal and Switzer (who was 3–0 against Texas as a head coach coming into this game) were involved in a serious feud at the time. The 1976 game was attended by U.S. President Gerald Ford. Ford made an appearance with Royal and Switzer before the game. Switzer and Royal both spoke to Ford but not to each other. The game ended in a 6–6 tie. It was Royal's final Red River Shootout.
The first Big 12 Conference overtime game, the 1996 meeting featured a John Blake squad under the direction of freshman quarterback Justin Fuente. The game ended Oklahoma 30–Texas 27 after a come from behind victory in the final seven minutes. Jarrail Jackson returned a punt 51 yards for a touchdown, then Fuente completed a 2-point conversion pass to Stephen Alexander to cut the lead to 24–21. The Sooners forced the Longhorns to punt, and drove to the Texas 28. Jeremy Alexander kicked a 44-yard field goal to tie the game at 24. In overtime, Texas was forced to settle for a 43-yard Phil Dawson field goal, after losing 1 yard on three plays. Lining up at the Texas 25, James Allen broke a ten-yard run, carried for two and three yards, then caught an 8-yard screen pass from Fuente on 3rd and 5 from the 10. On the next play, Allen took a pitch from Fuente two yards into the endzone, doing what he was unable to do two years before.
By breaking the string of five consecutive losses to Oklahoma, Longhorn coach Mack Brown preserved the Longhorns's National Championship hopes. With the win, Texas tied its largest margin of victory in the series. Freshman running back Jamaal Charles set a record for rushing yards by a Texas freshman in the series. With his 80-yard scamper, Charles also had the longest touchdown from scrimmage by a Texas running back in the series.
In 2009 Texas won a low scoring game, 16–13. Texas scored only one touchdown and three field goals, while OU scored one touchdown and two field goals. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford had injured his shoulder earlier in the year when playing the BYU Cougars, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Despite this injury, Bradford started in the 2009 Red River Rivalry confident that his shoulder was healed. However, early in the first quarter a sack by Aaron Williams re-aggravated his injury and forced him out of the game, ending his season and making the Texas game his final college game. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy threw for 127 yards, while the team combined for 142 rushing yards. OU's replacement quarterback, Landry Jones, replaced Bradford and threw for 250 yards of passing with 2 interceptions. The most notable statistic of the game was that the Sooners were held to minus 16 yards of rushing by the Longhorn defense.
The series began in 1900 and has been played in Dallas since 1912, except for 1913 (Houston), 1922 (Norman, Okla.), and 1923 (Austin). Dallas was chosen as a "neutral" site since it is situated approximately halfway between Austin, Texas and Norman, Oklahoma – the locations of UT and OU, respectively. This also provides both teams an opportunity to showcase themselves for Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex-based alumni and potential high-school recruits of both teams.
Since 2003 the Red River Rivalry trophy has been exchanged between the student bodies of the two schools. This trophy was developed by Alex Yaffe, former OU Student Body President, and Katie King, UT's former student body president. The trophy bears the image of the two states as well as miniature football helmets to represent both teams.
Another annual tradition is the running of game balls by the schools' Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps programs. Each school's NROTC program uses a relay running system to run one game ball all the way from their respective campus to Dallas. Once there, they participate against each other in a football scrimmage, with the winner taking home a rivalry trophy and bragging rights. This trophy is awarded to the winner of the scrimmage, without regard to who wins the main football game. UT held the trophy from 2005-2009 until 2010 when OU ended the streak and has held onto it since.