On September 29, the Texas Longhorns will travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma to do battle with the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. While the game is a big one on paper, it is also a great opportunity for fans to have a great college football experience at a great venue. The Longhorns are a great historical program that has fallen on hard times recently. A 13-12 record in the past two seasons is clearly not up to Texas' standards. During those two seasons, the Cowboys defeated the Longhorns twice, marking the first time in school history that they defeated Texas in consecutive years.
This article is an excerpt from Stadium Journey Magazine where we named the best games to see live in 2012.
Now, an improving Texas team will look to get revenge on an Oklahoma State team that is reloading, to put it lightly. After last season's Big 12 Championship and Fiesta Bowl win, the Cowboys lost star quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon to the NFL. While the Cowboys are still returning quite a bit of talent on both sides of the ball, the hole left by those two stars will be difficult to fill. The Cowboys will be led by true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt, adding even more question marks to the mix.
The Longhorns have the most on-paper talent in the Big 12 and will be looking to build on that backbone toward conference title contention. As one of the first big conference games of the season, this game is huge for both teams and the Big 12 conference as a whole.
Two ranked teams, each among the most talented in their conference, going at it in an early-season, tone-setting game. That should be enough for anyone, but even if it isn't, there is another big reason to go to this game.
That reason is the venue. Boone Pickens Stadium is one of the best venues in the Big 12 for many different reasons. The combination of the fans, the atmosphere and the town of Stillwater is one that few fans will ever forget.
The biggest reason any fan should visit BPS is the atmosphere. Cowboy fans are some of the most loyal in the nation. The Oklahoma State program has been through some incredibly rocky patches in the past, and the fans never forget that. They root for their team rain, shine, snow or sleet. And they especially root for their team when Texas comes to town.
Everyone knows of the Red River Rivalry and the bad blood there is between the University of Oklahoma and Texas. What many do not know is that animosity for Texas extends to Oklahoma State as well. Cowboy fans view the Longhorns as the big brothers they were never able to beat. Now that they have prevailed two years in a row, Cowboy fans will not be eager to give up their current position of dominance.
In-game fan traditions are big at Oklahoma State home games. Every fan will love the "Orange Power" chant, in which each side yells one of the words across the stadium. The same goes for the specific cheers for game situations, especially the touchdown wave. The traditions at the game are huge, and are best experienced in person, because words can never do them justice.
Boone Pickens Stadium is also one of the newest facilities in the Big 12. Its restrooms and concessions are of a very good quality, and there is plenty of each so you will not have to waste time looking for either or waiting in lines. Cleanliness is not a problem either, as the staff does a great job of keeping the facility looking fantastic each week. Combine all this with how easy it is to get around the stadium and you have a venue that is tailor made with the fan experience in mind.
The city of Stillwater itself is also a big selling point for why fans should want to come out and see this game. Stillwater is the perfect college town. It isn't too big or too small, and it is right in the middle of the two largest cities in the state; Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The strip is also nearby and it has bars and hangout joints galore, just waiting for your business.
The two best places in town are The Hideaway and Eskimo Joe's. The former boasts the best good, ol' fashioned American pizza in the world, and you will be hard pressed to prove them wrong. Joe's is the ultimate place to be in Stillwater. Their world-famous cheese fries and great burgers are to die for. You will most definitely have to wait for a table, but at least you will have the adjacent Eskimo Joe's clothing store to browse while you do.
Texas vs Oklahoma State at Boone-Pickens Stadium is a must-see for any college football fan able to attend. Oklahoma State and Texas are both top-notch programs, with each having major success nationally in recent years. This game has the potential to change the tone of the entire Big 12 college football season. One team will be on the fast track for conference title contention, and the other will be out of the race almost entirely.
It will all hinge on one great game at one great venue on one great Saturday night in September. Are you up for it?
**For more features on the best games in college football for 2012, please visit Stadium Journey Magazine.