Former Sooner tight end Trent Smith recalls his memories of the OU-Texas rivalry in an exclusive article for

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An edited version of the following article was published in the October issue of Inside OU Sports Magazine.

By Trent Smith with Thayer Evans

I hate Texas. That's right, I hate them. I always have and always will, because I'm a purebred Oklahoma kid. It's just in my blood. Like a lot of Oklahomans, I was raised in a family of Sooner fans, but the only difference was that I was blessed and fortunate enough to get the chance to play for the team of my dreams. Most kids develop a love for their university while playing, but not me. I had it my first day on campus.

Growing up in Clinton, Okla., I idolized Brian Bosworth, Keith Jackson, Jamelle Holieway and Charles Thompson. That carried over to high school, so there was no doubt that I'd be a Sooner. But I guess that didn't matter to Texas, because one day, an assistant of theirs showed up unannounced at my high school. When he came and got me out of class that day, I couldn't help but notice that his polo shirt had a Longhorn logo on it. Right then, I knew I wasn't interested, but since I was raised right, I listened to what he had to say. During that conversation, he asked me how I felt about playing for Texas and pointblank to his face, I told him ‘I'm a Sooner sir, and I could never play for the University of Texas.' A few days later, then-Texas coach John Mackovic called and asked me to reconsider Texas. He told me the ‘eyes of Texas' were on me, so I responded by telling him, ‘I'm going to OU, you'll see me soon enough.' And with that Texas never called me again.

My current roommate, Jarrett Johnson, who played defensive end at Alabama, recently asked me about Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Texas. He wanted to know which of one those schools is our biggest rival. I told him each one is different, because an in-state rivalry is just that, an in-state rivalry, so neither team likes each other, which isn't that big of a deal. As for Nebraska, that's a rivalry formed out of pure respect for tradition and national championships, but Texas is a rivalry born out of pure emotion and hate. It's funny, Texas fans have this acute arrogance about them, because they think everything is bigger and better in Texas. But it's not. In fact, that's a joke. As an Oklahoman, I'll never tolerate anybody, especially Texans, talking down to me, because of where I'm from.

My first trip to the OU-Texas game as a player came in 1998. I didn't play, because I was redshirting that year and we got our butts kicked 34-3. While I stood on the sidelines that game, I'll never forget how bad the Texas fans wanted to kick us that year. The Texas fans were all drunk, which makes them even more obnoxious. They were throwing stuff at me, so I turned around and fired back with a couple cups of water. That didn't shut them up either, so J.T. Thatcher and I filled up a cup of our own spit and threw it on them. After that game, I kept telling myself to just wait until my class played Texas, because I knew we'd raise the sinking ship out of water.

That next year was Coach Stoops' first season at OU and somehow Texas managed to beat us 38-28. That game was the first time I can ever remember hearing the Texas fight song, which I thought was kind of cool at first until they chanted ‘Fight, Fight, OU Sucks.' That really ticked me off and got under my skin. A couple of weeks later, I was watching them play Texas Tech and they were still saying OU sucks. That's when I knew this rivalry was a lot bigger than I expected.

Here's the deal about OU-Texas. Just getting to Dallas for the game is tough, because I-35's so packed with cars that we usually have to drive on the shoulder with our police escort. But what most OU fans don't know is that as soon as we cross the Red River and see that ‘Welcome to Texas' sign, everybody on the team makes sure they flip it the bird. I think that's pretty cool, because it shows that everyone is in this thing together.

When you arrive in Dallas, the Texas and Oklahoma fans are either screaming for you or cussing you. They're either giving you the number one sign or throwing up the horns at you. And when you get out, all the Texas and Oklahoma fans are pushing each other. As you walk towards the locker room, there are thousands of Oklahoma fans everywhere. They're all going nuts. It gives you goosebumps the second you step off that bus and they don't go away the whole game. It's unbelievable. If you could bottle that feeling and sell it, you'd be a millionaire.

Let me tell you about ‘The Tunnel' at the Cotton Bowl. It's always hyped up to be this special walk down on to the field, but I was never that impressed with it. Maybe that's because it's always filled up with Texas band people and that big cow, Bevo, which really stinks. By the way, what's that supposed to symbolize? At least a Sooner has some type of historical name and value to it. Anyway, every time I walked past Bevo, I'd always spit on him.

But the coolest thing about ‘The Tunnel' is when you come out of it, because the OU fans in the top few rows on the tunnel side can see you coming out of the locker room before anyone else can. So when they see us, they get all fired up. It's kind of like the wave, because it starts to echo throughout the stadium. By the time, you get to the field, it's deafening. I always threw the horn sign down when I came out and the OU fans would go nuts. It almost makes you cry. It's one of the most religious experiences you'll ever have.

After losing to Texas in my first two years, I couldn't wait to play them in 2000. I wanted to destroy them. Hell, I wanted to make them bleed. All I could think about was that group of fans behind me in 1998. I wanted them to be there for this one. And sure enough, the game turned out exactly like I wanted. We smashed them 63-14. Josh (Heupel) had a great game and we were up 7-0 on Texas before ABC even switched to the game. It was great, because we beat them by the same number of points as we beat Baylor (56-7) that year. It was just one of those magic days that Sooner fans dream about. To hand Texas one of their worst losses in school history and the largest loss in the rivalry is special to an OU fan, an OU player, an OU kid and an OU woman. It's so awesome, because you win that game and give the state a smile for 12 more months. I loved it. When you play against Texas, you're not just playing for the team, yourself and the pride of the school, you're playing for an entire state. Even OSU fans root for OU to beat Texas, because they don't like Texas either. It's just not as big of a game for OSU as it is for us.

The 2001 game was another great one. We fought our butts off the whole game. On offense, we couldn't really get much together. We were moving the ball and running time off the clock, but we couldn't seem to get the ball in the end zone. But in the end, it took some good old-fashioned Sooner magic to seal the game. Roy (Williams) jumped like 10 feet in the air over some dude and the ball just kind of fluttered to Teddy (Lehman). Give me a break, that will never happen anywhere else or to any other team. It's always Sooner magic. That whole game was Roy. The state of Oklahoma should have named a holiday for him after the way he played that game.

I've never been more fired up for any game than I was last season vs. Texas. I got so pumped that when I got off the bus, I threw down my playbook folder and it ripped. I also lost my pen that I'd all season. My whole career at OU was like a storybook. I caught a touchdown pass against Texas last season and it winds up on the cover of Sports Illustrated. How much more perfect can it get than that? My career at Oklahoma couldn't have been anymore perfect, unless I got to catch the game-winner against Texas. But I'd rather beat them by 11 points like we did last season, then have the game-winning catch against them. Texas is one of those teams you can't score enough points against. Anytime you get a chance to embarrass Texas, I say do it.

After last season's game, I planted the OU flag at midfield, which was another one of those unforgettable experiences. Then, I ran up into the stands. When I turned around, I noticed that everyone else did too. That was really special, because to spend time with the fans who love and cheer for us is a joy. It's great to let them smell what you smell like, touch the jersey, grab the OU helmet and then watch us hoist it above their head. I don't care about Texas fans, but I love OU fans.

I'm not sure that I'll be able to watch this year's game. I tried to sit down, chill out and watch the Alabama game this year, but the second it came on, I was a nervous wreck. I think I'll always be like that. I don't think that will ever go away. I'll probably throw up when OU plays Texas this year, because I'll be so nervous for our guys. I want them to play good and beat Texas so bad. The last four years, I've hand in that and I could do something about it. Now, I'll be a thousand miles away and there's not a single thing I can do to change it. That'll drive me crazy. Someone will drop a pass or Texas will get the momentum, and I won't be down there on the sidelines to talk to the guys. I won't be able to tell them to relax. That's someone else's job now. I've had to pass the torch.

I've got a message for Texas this year: beat us first, then you can talk. Good luck with that. OU will win again this year. Our players care too much. I don't care what quarterback Texas has this year. Again, they're overrated this year, just like they are every year. It always seems like they start off number one in a couple of magazines every year, but you know all is right in the world when OU is number one in the polls that count. I'm not saying I don't respect Texas, because they have a ton of talent. That's why it's so sweet to beat them, because they're not a Baylor, Kansas or North Texas. To destroy them every year, just makes us look so much better.

As for their Roy Williams, that guy should be a comedian. After the 2001 game, he kept saying, ‘Oklahoma's not better than us, they're just not. I don't care.' My response to that is prove it. Win something before you open your mouth again. If you're so much better, quit losing to us. But that's just part of that Texas arrogance. They're pretty cocky for guys who can't beat us. I'm sick of hearing everything they say about Oklahoma. That's why I let everybody at last year's Big 12 championship know how I feel about Texas. If they've got a problem with that, do something on the field, because I'm tired of Oklahoma having to talk to them through the media, because they never show up on game day.

A lot of people ask me about Mack Brown, but I've never really had an opinion about him. Whenever I thought we were going to hire him after Coach Blake was gone, I was excited, but I'm so happy we didn't. He won't take risks like Coach Stoops. He just won't do it. For instance, last year he downed the ball before halftime to run out the clock. That's something Coach Stoops would never do. Coach Stoops is in it to win it. That's part of our whole attitude. We reflect our coaches, so Mack Brown wouldn't have fit with us. Coach Stoops doesn't make excuses for his players. When we screw up in a game, we're the ones that have to talk to the media about it. We don't shy away from that stuff and Mack does. Don't get me wrong, he's one heck of a coach, but I just think when it comes to playing us, Coach Stoops has a mental edge on him. To put it this way, I hung out with Chris Simms at the NFL Combine in February. He's a great guy and even Chris had some bad things to say about Mack Brown. His actual words to me at the combine were ‘I just think our coach is scared of your coach.' That comes straight from the horse's mouth, so there's really nothing else I can say about that.

My final words for Texas fans are these: I told you so. And I'll tell you again, Texas won't beat OU this year. I just wish I could find those fans from my freshman year and show them my national championship ring. How do you like that? I think Brian Bosworth said it best and I'll say it again, ‘Burnt orange makes me puke.' It's sick and so is Texas.

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