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College football: Mack Brown needs Red River win vs. No. 12 Sooners

Published: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 1:30 a.m. CST
Texas coach Mack Brown gives the "Hook 'em Horns" sign to the crowd after his team's 31-30 victory over Iowa State last Thursday in Ames, Iowa.

DALLAS – All that matters to Texas coach Mack Brown this week is trying to win a game.

That hasn’t always been an easy task the second Saturday in October in the Red River Rivalry against Oklahoma.

With so much speculation about whether Brown’s job is in jeopardy, a win by the Longhorns (3-2, 2-0 Big 12) over Bob Stoops and the 12th-ranked Sooners (5-0, 2-0) on Saturday at the State Fair of Texas would certainly settle things down – at least temporarily.

“None of that is a factor,” Brown said. “None of that matters. Winning matters.”

A fourth straight loss by the Longhorns to Oklahoma, especially another lopsided one like the last 2 years, would only accelerate a burnt orange panic.

This will be the 15th meeting between Brown and Stoops, already five more than Fred Akers and Barry Switzer in what had been the previous longest coaching rivalry in the series. They would need to meet four more times after this weekend to match the 19 years in a row that Texas’ Darrell Royal went against Arkansas’ Frank Broyles.

Oklahoma is 9-5 in the series under Stoops, with wins by 38 and 42 points the last two seasons and a 52-point victory 10 years ago.

“Anytime you win, there’s positive memories,” Stoops said. “Over 15 years, we’ve won our share here, so those are always fun. I’ve got probably too many to say one.”

For the second year in a row, neither team is ranked in the top 10. Before last year, that hadn’t happened since 1999, the first in the series matching Stoops against Brown.

The Big 12 title is still a legitimate goal for both teams. But only the Sooners, who are favored by nearly two touchdowns, can still think about the possibility of a national championship this season.

Asked if the bigger challenge was facing Oklahoma or his own team, Brown quickly responded, “It’s with us. We have got to continue to get better. ... We have got a lot of things we have got to fix.”

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