Red River Rivalry: The 10 games that define Texas-Oklahoma football series

Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports

Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2022. It has been updated.

Some rivalries are defined by a "big brother vs. little brother" dynamic -- the more successful team vs. the team that lives to destroy the more successful team's season. In the Red River Rivalry, the programs have traded who gets to play each role.

Some rivalries are nonconference affairs between schools that enjoy massive geographic overlap and recruit the same prospects but have never been in the same league. Red River was that ... until it wasn't.

At one point or another, Oklahoma-Texas has been pretty much everything. The schools have met 118 times; since 1929, the only time they didn't play at Dallas' Cotton Bowl was in 2018, when they also played in nearby Arlington in the Big 12 championship game. Starting with a 7-7 tie in 1937, the series has been nearly dead even: 42 wins for Texas, 41 wins for OU and four draws.

The balance of power has shifted repeatedly, from UT's eight-game winning streak in the 1940s to OU's recent run of six wins in the past seven meetings, and few rivalries mark power better than this one: While the two storied programs have combined for 72 AP top-10 finishes, they've pulled off the feat in the same season only 13 times. One team asserts its dominance over the other, and it tends to last a while.

That could make 2023 a pretty big pivot point. A year after they met as unranked foes, both teams are 5-0 and rising in the polls. Texas is third in the AP poll after solidifying its early win over Bama with comfortable victories as a favorite. Oklahoma, meanwhile, is up to 12th, having almost matched last year's six-win total five games in. Texas' 49-0 win last year felt like exactly the sort of dominance assertion that could prompt a long Longhorns run, but OU's early-season rebound has brought that at least slightly into doubt.

Who wins the final iteration of this rivalry before it becomes property of the SEC? What awaits in the years to come? The answer likely lies in the past. From blowouts to game-of-the-year candidates to matchups that signal a changing of the guard, here are 10 games that tell the story of the Red River Rivalry.