NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said he is “bitterly disappointed” in the 11 a.m. Central starting time Fox announced Thursday for the Sooners’ home game against Nebraska.
The teams are set to meet Sept. 18, nearly 50 years after the “Game of The Century.” Back in 1971, No. 1 Nebraska beat No. 2 Oklahoma 35-31 in Norman on its way to the national title.
Castiglione had hoped for a later start time to better showcase the matchup of historic programs. For decades, their matchups usually determined the conference champion. The Sooners hold a 45-38-3 lead in the series.
“We tried every possible avenue to proactively make our case,” Castiglione said in a statement. “The Big 12 Conference also supported our strenuous efforts to secure a more traditional time that would honor this game and our fans. However, in the end, our TV partner chose to exercise its full contractual rights and denied our request.”
The 1971 Thanksgiving Day game drew more than 55-million television viewers — a record at the time.
The programs haven’t met since 2010, when Oklahoma defeated Nebraska 23-20 in the 2010 Big 12 Championship Game. Nebraska later left for the Big Ten.