In last week’s installation of this series I mentioned that Texas Tech and Kansas didn’t play one another until 1965 despite Lubbock and Lawrence being only 650 miles apart. But the surprising nature of that fact pales in comparison to the late start of the series between Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
The two schools, both of which could be classed as regional football powers and located 340 miles from one another, never met until 1992, the sixth full season of Spike Dykes’ tenure on the High Plains. And because of this puzzlingly late start to the series, Tech and OU have played a modest 22 games, with the Sooners holding a 16-6 series edge.
Oklahoma won the first three games of the series, blowing Tech out in the first two by scores of 34-9 and 41-10 respectively. The third game was much closer with OU taking a 17-11 decision. To date, the 28 points scored in that game is the lowest in series history.
Tech’s first win came in 1996, the inaugural season of the Big 12. The Red Raiders took that one 22-12 in Norman.
All of Tech’s victories over Oklahoma have come in Big 12 action, with the Sooners owning a 13-6 series mark against the Red Raiders in conference play.
Tech’s period of greatest success against OU came in the span beginning in 2005 and culminating in 2011. The Red Raiders won four out of the seven games in that stretch, with three of those victories coming in Lubbock. This period, however, also included the infamous 2008 game in which the No. 2-ranked Red Raiders lost 65-21 in Norman. That game holds the record for greatest point total in the series, and just misses being the most lopsided outcome, with OU’s 60-15 win in 2002 taking the prize.
Currently the Sooners own a three-game winning streak over Tech, which is two games shy of their longest, from 2000 to 2004. The Red Raiders have never won consecutive games over Oklahoma.
For those who pay close attention to attendance figures, it is interesting to note that in Tech’s 1997 season finale against OU, only 40,000 fans showed up at Jones Stadium to see the 6-4 Red Raiders lose 32-21 to a 3-8 Sooner team. Stadium capacity at that time was approximately 56,000.
The preceding year 61,000 turned out to see the 3-7 Sooners lose 22-12 to the 6-4 Red Raiders.
From Tech’s perspective, the feel-good hit of the series came in the final game of 1999. On that November afternoon freshman quarterback Kliff Kingsbury led the 5-5 Red Raiders to a 38-28 triumph over the 6-3 Sooners before a crowd of 42,000 in Lubbock. This was the final game Spike Dykes coached as the Red Raider boss.