The Nebraska Athletic Department announced Thursday that it has signed a contract for a home-and-home football series with the University of Oklahoma. The two long-time rivals will renew their historic rivalry with games in 2021 in Norman and 2022 in Lincoln.
The first matchup is scheduled for Sept. 18, 2021, at Oklahoma, and the teams will meet at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln on Sept. 17, 2022.
"Our rivalry with Oklahoma has been one of the great traditional matchups in the history of college football," Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne said. "The games between the two schools were generally to decide a conference championship, and many times helped determine the national champion. Those matchups were always played with great intensity on the field, but with a great deal of respect from both sides and among the fan bases.
"I know our fans look forward to non-conference games against high-profile opponents like Oklahoma. I'm pleased we were able to finalize this series."
The long-time Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12 foes have met 86 times on the gridiron, with Oklahoma holding a 45-38-3 advantage in the all-time series. The schools met 71 straight seasons from 1927 to 1998, before the Big 12's scheduling rotation changed the annual matchup.
The 2021 game in Norman will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1971 "Game of the Century" between the schools. The contest is the most famous in the series and generally regarded as one of the greatest games in college football history. Top-ranked Nebraska edged No. 2 Oklahoma, 35-31, in Norman and went on to capture its second straight national championship.
The Game of the Century started a run of NU-OU games from 1971 to 1988 in which both teams were ranked in the top 11 of the Associated Press Poll in 17 of 19 meetings. Overall, at least one team has been ranked in the top 10 nationally in 48 of the games, with two top 10 teams 18 times. Since the Associated Press Poll began, the "Battle of the Big Reds" has featured at least one ranked team in 60 of 70 games.
Nebraska holds a 9-6 lead in the series since 1991. The last meeting between the two schools occurred in the 2010 Big 12 Championship Game, with Oklahoma posting a 23-20 victory in Arlington, Texas. Nebraska won the most recent regular-season matchup between the schools, posting a 10-3 win in Lincoln in 2009. Nebraska holds a 20-17-2 advantage in Lincoln, while Oklahoma has a 23-16 edge in games played in Norman.
The games with Oklahoma are the first games on Nebraska's schedule in 2021 and 2022. Nebraska expects to announce other future non-conference games in the coming weeks.