The Sooners and Longhorns dominated their respective conferences for decades (the Big 8 and SWC), and when the Big 12 was formed, the two rivals became conference foes and battled for the South Division title 10 out of the 14 years the conference was split into divisions. But times have changed. The super powers are not so super anymore. Texas last won the title in 2009, Oklahoma in 2010 and a long 4 year drought has ensued since. Texas has fallen on very hard times. An unthinkable 5-7 record in 2010 was followed by 4 straight mediocre years for the Horns (by Texas standards anyway). Things have not been quite so dire for Oklahoma. Sooners made a run for the crown in 2012 and 2013, but slipped mightily to 8-5 in 2014. The preseason polls in 2015 have Oklahoma picked 3rd behind TCU and Baylor, with Texas jockeying for 4th or 5th with Oklahoma State. Has the great era of the Red River Rivals ended for good? I doubt it. Given time, Charlie Strong is bound to bring the Longhorn program back to Texas standards, and Oklahoma, well, Sooner magic is just a QB away. Still, 2015 seems to belong to the Frogs and Bears and we may be talking about more than a conference title. As reported earlier, Billingsley believes TCU will win the National Championship, out dueling Ohio State in the CFP. Baylor could be in the mix just as easily should the Bears survive a road trip to Amon Carter Stadium in late November. Mark your calendars, the November 27 meeting between TCU and Baylor could be the college game of the year.
Billingsley projects Oklahoma to finish 9-3, falling to Tennessee in Knoxville, TCU at home, and Baylor in Waco. Things may not be quite as easy for Texas. Rebuilding the Longhorn program will take some time. Billingsley projects Texas to finish 7-5 with losses at Notre Dame, at TCU, Oklahoma in Dallas, at West Virginia, and at Baylor. The games with the Sooners and Mountaineers are very winnable though, and an 8-4, or 9-3 season would be considered a breakthrough for the Longhorns.