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Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry, series history explained


The Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry may have been put on pause for a decade but the recent revival should keep it one to watch.

Before 2011, Oklahoma-Nebraska was one of the key battles in the Big 12 each and every year.

The rivalry went dormant because of conference realignment but it returned in 2021 to the delight of college football fans everywhere.

How far back does the rivalry go? Who has the edge in the series? And what makes it so special?

Oklahoma, Nebraska rivalry explained

The Sooners and the Cornhuskers first met in 1912 in Lincoln with a 13-9 victory in favor of the home team. They met again for a tie in 1919 then played regularly from 1921 through 2010.

The Huskers controlled the early years of the rivalry. In the first 22 meetings, Nebraska won 16 and picked up three ties.

However, the boys from Norman took control in 1943 and dominated for two decades.

The series has featured the No. 1 team in the land 13 times. In 1971, the “Game of the Century” featured No. 1 Nebraska pulling off a 35-31 victory over No. 2 Oklahoma. The next 20 years would deliver incredible matchups. in 1978, the No. 4 Cornhuskers took down No. 1 Oklahoma. In 1979 they met in the Orange Bowl with No. 4 OU getting the win. In 1984 and1987, the Sooners upset the No. 1 Huskers.

While the series remained strong coming into this century, divisions in the Big 12 made meetings more rare. Twice, Oklahoma had to best Nebraska in the Big-12 Title Game.

Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten in 2011 ended the regular conference rivalry. However, the two programs came together to schedule an out-of-conference series beginning in 2021, with games in 2022, 2029 and 2030.

Oklahoma record vs. Nebraska

The Sooners own the series lead at 46-38-3. They won 16-straight games from 1943 to 1958 to establish their advantage while adding to the tally with a six-game winning streak in the 1970s.

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