Not since 1947 has OU and Texas both sported first-year head coaches. That season, Blair Cherry’s Longhorns beat Bud Wilkinson’s Sooners 34-14 in the famed Cisco Game, when referee Jack Cisco’s call just before halftime prompted a near-riot complete with bottle-throwing.
The tide turned for Wilkinson, though, as he won nine of the next 10 games at the Cotton Bowl. Cherry was around for only three of those other games. The Wilkinson-Cherry rivalry was not long-lasting.
But now Lincoln Riley and Tom Herman meet as first-year head coaches, joining a select group of bitter rivals who hired head coaches in the same year. Oklahoma-Nebraska 1973: OU’s Barry Switzer beat Nebraska’s Tom Osborne 27-0 but both became legends, each winning three national titles. Switzer went 12-5 against Osborne.
Southern Cal-UCLA 1976: USC’s John Robinson beat UCLA’s Terry Donahue 24-14. Robinson had a seven-year record of 67-143, before taking the LA Rams job. When Robinson came back to USC in 1993, Donahue was still at UCLA, en route to a 20-year run.
Michigan-Michigan State 1995: Michigan State’s Nick Saban beat Michigan’s Lloyd Carr 28-25. Saban stayed five years, then jumped to LSU. Carr lasted 13 years and won a national title.
Oklahoma-Oklahoma State 1973: OU’s Barry Switzer beat OSU’s Jim Stanley 45-18. The coaching rivalry lasted six years, before Stanley was fired.
Southern Cal-Notre Dame 2010: Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly beat USC’s Lane Kiffin 20-16. Kelly remains on the job, but Kiffin was fired in the middle of his fourth season.
Army-Navy 1959: Navy’s Wayne Hardin beat Army’s Dale Hall 43-12. But the golden of service academy football was ending. Hardin lasted six years, Hall only three.
Oklahoma State-Oklahoma 1995: OSU’s Bob Simmons beat OU’s Howard Schnellenberger 12-0. Schnellenberger was fired a month later. Simmons lasted six years.
Texas A&M-Texas 1951: Texas A&M’s Ray George beat Texas’ Ed Price 22-21. George lasted three years before being fired to make way for Bear Bryant. Price last six years before giving way to Darrell Royal. Alabama-Tennessee 1955: Tennessee’s Bowden Wyatt beat Bama’s J.B. Whitworth (hired away from Oklahoma State) 20-0. Wyatt had a solid eight-year run; Whitworth was fired after three years to make way for Bear Bryant.
Clemson-South Carolina 1999: Clemson’s Tommy Bowden beat Carolina’s Lou Holtz 31-21. Bowden lasted 10 years. Holtz retired after six seasons.
Pitt-Penn State 1950: Penn State’s Rip Engle beat Pitt’s Len Casanova 21-20. Pittsburgh finished 1-8, and Casanova immediately took the Oregon job. Engle stayed 15 more years before giving way to Joe Paterno.
Tom Osborne, left, and Barry Switzer listen to a question before the Orange Bowl of the 1978 season.