We were sitting in the Dallas airport, waiting to board our flight for Kansas City last Sunday morning following the Kansas-Baylor game when we struck up a conversation with a young woman.
A Big D native, she brought up the subject of next week's Oklahoma-Texas game, mentioning she had sold a pair of tickets for a large sum.
Five thousand dollars, she replied.
Gulp. Those of us who are mere mortals will never understand the monumental impact the OU-UT rivalry has on the denizens of Oklahoma and Texas. To us, it's just another football game. To them, it's life and death.
Too, the importance of the Red River Rumble grows in direct proportion to the loftiness of each team's ranking. This time, with the Sooners and Longhorns ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, mere words cannot describe how much this football game means to the faithful.
For what it's worth, Oklahoma won last year and I believe the Sooners will win again this year. Whether you agree or disagree, point your Web browser to KUsports.com and enter the weekly "We Whacked Woodling" contest. You might win a nifty T-shirt.
Here are this week's Big 12 Conference picks:
Oklahoma 16, Texas 12 OU's Nate Hybl doesn't carry the cachet of Texas quarterback Phil Simms, but Hybl is quietly boosting his stock by throwing 148 straight passes without an interception. Still, defenses should dominate in annual Red River rumble.
Texas A&M 20, Baylor 0 Baylor bubble bursts after last week's goal-razing win over slip-sliding Kansas. Bears 0-14-1 against Aggies in last 15 meetings. A&M defense could force as many as 10 turnovers in this one.
Nebraska 29, Missouri 9 Cornhuskers make it two dozen in a row over Tigers, who aren't quite over the hump, but look out next year in Columbia. NU much better at home than on road.
Kansas State 33, Oklahoma State 12 Wildcats, smarting from last Saturday's loss at Colorado, will take it out on Cowboys, who left it all on the field in last week's two-point loss to Texas.
Iowa State 38, Texas Tech 33 Iowa State boosts its record to 6-1 as Seneca Wallace outduels Kliff Kingsbury in battle of Big 12's premier gunslingers. Burma Road awaits, however. ISU must go to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Colorado in the next five weeks.
Colorado 37, Kansas 13 Buffs have history of performing poorly in Lawrence, but Jayhawks, who rank last in league in both offense and defense, don't have enough oomph to make Colorado pay for desultory play.