The 119th assembly between the College of Oklahoma and the College of Texas is about to happen Saturday at 11:00 am (Central) on the State Honest of Texas within the historic Cotton Bowl.
The Pink River Rivalry has all the time been a spotlight of every school soccer season, pitting two of essentially the most recognizable names in school soccer in opposition to each other in what’s normally a really thrilling recreation. However this 12 months the sport means a bit of extra, because it signifies the top of an period for school soccer. After this 12 months, the sport will not maintain Huge 12 title, nationwide championship, or Faculty Soccer Playoff implications.
That’s as a result of because the convention realignment wheel spins, these rivalry recreation victories at the moment are the head achievement that a whole lot of groups can attain in a season. As a lot because it pains me to say that, it’s true.
In case you are a middle-of-the-road crew within the present SEC or B1G, with the brand new additions coming subsequent 12 months, your ceiling is lowered tremendously. Oklahoma and Texas followers, that features you. Chances are you’ll be a “blue blood” program now, however as soon as you might be within the SEC with the likes of LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida, you’ll have a decrease probability of profitable the convention, a lot much less making the Faculty Soccer Playoff.
And with the convention title out of attain, that makes beating your largest rival all of the extra significant.
Let me use my residence state crew, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, for instance.
The College of Minnesota has by no means gained the B1G West regardless of being shut many instances, however there was all the time subsequent 12 months. Possibly subsequent 12 months they might lastly break by, attain the B1G championship recreation and make it to the Rose Bowl. Possibly as an alternative of eight wins, they might get a fortunate break within the schedule and win 10 or extra video games.
That was all the time the ceiling/dream season fantasy that we Gophers all the time had. Sadly, that’s what it’ll all the time find yourself being — only a dream.
With the additions of Oregon, Washington, UCLA and USC to the B1G starting subsequent season, it makes the climb up the mountain of the B1G insurmountable. It’s laborious sufficient for Ohio State and Michigan to play a full slate of B1G groups and are available out on the opposite aspect with not more than two losses. Contemplating the Gophers are 4-61 since 1980 in opposition to simply Ohio State and Michigan, the one time we will odor the roses will probably be once we purchase some roses off the freeway whereas we’re in L.A. for a convention recreation and faux it’s the actual factor.
In different phrases, one of the best season that the Gophers can probably obtain is an eight-win season and mid-tier bowl recreation. OU and Texas could have a barely increased ceiling, however realistically, they are going to be on the identical plain. So, the place does that depart the followers? The place can a fan of a crew on this state of affairs discover any pleasure? How can they body a season as profitable when the deck is stacked in opposition to them?
The reply: their rivalry video games.