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Big 12 Football: Red River Is Gone, But There’s A New Rivalry In Town

Mar 28, 2024, 1:35 PM

Utah Utes BYU Cougars Ron McBride LaVell Edwards Big 12 Football Rivalry...

BYU Coach LaVell Edwards and U of U Coach Ron McBride congratulate each other after the game. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

(Tom Smart, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Big 12 Conference is losing a college football rivalry with Oklahoma and Texas making their way to the SEC.

Luckily for Big 12 Football fans, a new rivalry could take its place – Utah vs. BYU.

Red River Rivalry Heads To The SEC

Back in 2021, Texas and Oklahoma informed the Southeastern Conference that they were seeking an invitation for membership in 2025.

After speculation that the move could come a year or two earlier than that, the year has finally come when the Red River Shootout will head to the SEC.

The history of Texas vs. Oklahoma football goes back over 100 years.

The first game between the schools was played in 1900. The Longhorns and Sooners have met 119 times from 1900 to today.

Texas holds the all-time advantage with a record of 63-51-5. Oklahoma has the largest (65-13 in 2003) and most recent win.

In the 21st century, the Sooners have had the Longhorns number. Oklahoma has won 17 of the 25 matchups since 2000.

Part of what makes the Red River Rivalry so special is the consistency of both programs.

Since the AP Poll was introduced, either Texas or Oklahoma was ranked when the schools faced off a total of 70 times.

One Storied Rivalry Replaced By Another

Luckily for Big 12 Football fans, there will be a new rivalry to keep track of in the 2024-2025 season.

The BYU Cougars moved on from its independence era and joined the Big 12 a year ago. The Utah Utes jumped ship with the Pac-12’s future very much in question and will join the Big 12 Conference for the upcoming year.

From 1922 to 2010, Utah and BYU resided in the same conference, whether it was in the WAC or MWC.


There is debate whether the first matchup between the schools came in 1896 or 1922. There were six matchups before 1922 between Utah and Brigham Young Academy. These six games were split 3-3 so whether you count them or not, it doesn’t change much.

Utah holds a 59-32-4 lead all-time over BYU if you start from the 1922 matchup.

The Utes dominated BYU for the first 50 years of the rivalry. Then, LaVell Edwards showed up in 1972 and changed BYU’s fortunes overnight as one of the great aerial passing attacks in college football. BYU had its own run of dominance.

Then Ron McBride evened the series back up, with both exchanging blows. Since then, Utah has come out victorious in nine of the last ten. But BYU has held the bragging rights since the last meeting in 2021.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Big 12 Football: Red River Is Gone, But There’s A New Rivalry In Town