Oklahoma Sporting Director Joe Castiglione said Thursday the school is unhappy with Fox’s decision to play this season’s soccer game against Nebraska in Norman as the network’s early kick-off on September 18.
“We are bitterly disappointed that the great rivalry between Oklahoma and Nebraska is celebrating its 50th anniversary. [local time]“Said Castiglione in a statement. “We tried all possible ways to proactively represent our case. The Big 12 Conference also supported our vigorous efforts to ensure a more traditional time that honors this game and our fans. In the end, however, our TV partner decided to fully exercise his contractual rights and declined our requests. “
Fox’s “Big Noon Saturday” show is also slated to air right before Norman’s game.
The game, which was scheduled for 2012, is a renewal of one of college football’s great rivalries from the Big Eight and later the Big 12, with a home and home series for 2021 and 2022 and again for 2029 (in Norman) and 2030 ( in Lincoln, Nebraska). The teams last played against each other in the 2010 Big 12 championship game before the Cornhuskers left for the Big Ten the following season.
This season’s game is set to mark the anniversary of the legendary 1971 game between No. 1 Nebraska and No. Celebrate 2 Oklahoma where the Cornhuskers won 35-31.
The TV time is not the first upheaval around this year’s game. Reports in March suggested Nebraska was trying to get out of the game before the Huskers sporting director Bill Moos admitted they were investigating the possibility of adding an eighth home game.
“This option would have helped us contain cost-cutting measures and gave our local economy a much-needed boost,” he said. “Ultimately, the decision was made to move our game forward in Oklahoma in 2021.”
Castiglione also spoke about the importance of the game at the time, saying events were being planned in Oklahoma.
“The planning for this game was by design as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the game of the century,” Castiglione said in March. “We looked forward to celebrating these two historic programs and worked together on various aspects of a special weekend.”