NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – It’s a competition that goes back generations and is separated by a body of water. Red River rivals Oklahoma and Texas met twice last season for the first time in 115 years, when the Sooners won their fourth consecutive Big 12 championship by avenging their only regular-season loss.
Oklahoma now has another transfer quarterback — former national championship winner Jalen Hurts — after their transfer QBs the past two seasons both were Heisman Trophy winners and No. 1 overall NFL draft picks, all since Lincoln Riley became head coach. The Longhorns and hometown quarterback Sam Ehlinger are coming off their first 10-win season since 2009, a quick turnaround under third-year coach Tom Herman.
So it really wouldn’t be that much of a surprise if they again get to play a second game in the same season outside their traditional October game at the State Fair of Texas.
Especially in a season following the biggest coaching turnover ever in the Big 12 with four new coaches, including two who have won national championships. Les Miles takes over at Kansas a dozen seasons removed from his title at LSU and nearly three years after his last game, while new Kansas State coach Chris Klieman won at the FCS level with four championships in five seasons as North Dakota State’s head coach after three as a defensive coordinator there.
Suddenly only Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy (15th season) and TCU’s Gary Patterson (19th season) have been head coaches in the Big 12 longer than Matt Campbell, whose Iowa State team with sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy may be ready to make a push for a spot in the Big 12 title game in his fourth season.
“Phenomenal job, and I’m glad he stayed,” Riley said of Campbell. “Not glad from a competitive standpoint, but he’s a heck of a coach. He’s done a great job. His players play their tails off, made a big improvement obviously in that program in a short time.”
The Cyclones have had consecutive 8-5 seasons under their 39-year-old coach who has already drawn interest from NFL teams. They had nine losing seasons in the 10 years before Campbell arrived in Ames, Iowa, after his four seasons as head coach at Toledo.
“When I first got to Iowa State, all of the questions were what color uniforms are you wearing, what’s your entrance song. People cared about stuff that really doesn’t matter,” Campbell said. “Now we’re talking about a football team. We’re asking football questions, and we’re concerned about what’s really important.”
The Big 12 hasn’t had a national champion since the 2005 Texas team led by Vince Young.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)