It's Oklahoma-Nebraska week, so you know what that means.
Welcome to college football's lovefest. The series that's more mushy than a Valentine card. More syrupy than a cherry Dr Pepper.
BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN
The rivalry in which fans join hands at halftime and sing We Are the World. In which old gladiators convene the night before kickoff and celebrate the wondrous game they lost.
So OK, I give up. I'm on board. Time to play Oklahoma-Nebraska every season.
Time to trash the Big 12's balanced schedule and make the Sooners-Huskers an annual rite.
College football was built on rivalries like this. College football needs games like this.
We've got enough Florida-Tennessees and Boise State-Oregons. Enough OU-Texases. Enough Bedlams.
We need more games that celebrate all that is great about sport. We need to preserve and treasure traditions, not cast them to the street in the name of equitable scheduling.
We've tried it for almost 15 years, pretending OU-NU is just another game.
I supported the balanced schedule when the Big 12 formed. Argued that OU-Nebraska was a great rivalry only because it usually was a championship showdown. OU would forge other rivalries.
I was wrong. Turns out, OU-Nebraska endures whether the Big Reds are big dogs or not.
Tom Osborne, once Nebraska's coaching legend and now its athletic director, has invited OU's major award winners to join their Nebraska counterparts at a dinner Friday night in Lincoln, then be recognized at halftime Saturday night.
Last October, Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione staged a reunion of the 1971 Game of the Century, which the Sooners lost, that rarest of celebrations, honoring not victory, but competition.
Such honor and respect is in short supply in the modern athletic world, which is why OU-Nebraska clamors to return to an annual schedule.
Yes, it could create a scheduling imbalance, particularly if the Huskers ever return to their historic status as the Central Time Zone's flagship football program north of Norman.
That's a small price to pay to restore a grand tradition that never should have been halted.
Oklahoma and Nebraska played every season from 1928 until 1998. Seventy straight autumns, from Calvin Coolidge's administration to Bill Clinton's.
And an uncommon thing happened. The best parts of sport thrived. Sportsmanship. Dignity. Competition. And the best football games you've ever seen.
Let not such honor take two-year hiatuses, just to satisfy some scheduling model.
Bring back Oklahoma-Nebraska every year.