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Osborne: Nebraska has offer to play OU in 2020-21
LINCOLN, NEB. (AP) - Oklahoma and Nebraska are looking at playing a home-and-home football series in 2020-21.
The old rivals meet Saturday night in the Big 12 championship game in Arlington, Texas, the last football game Nebraska will play as a member of the league before it moves to the Big Ten.
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne told The Associated Press on Wednesday that OU athletic director Joe Castiglione proposed the series three or four months ago. Osborne said he can’t commit to the games until he knows the structure of the Big Ten schedule for 2020-21, and that might not be known for a year or two.
The Big Ten is considering going from an eight- to nine-game conference schedule in 2015, with each team having five league home games one year and four the next.
Oklahoma requests that the 2020 game be in Norman, Okla., and the 2021 game in Lincoln.
Osborne said Nebraska budgets for seven home games a year. If 2020 were a year that NU has four Big Ten games at home, he said, all three of its nonconference games would have to be played in Lincoln, ruling out a trip to Oklahoma.
“If we have five Big Ten home games in 2020,” Osborne said, “we can afford to go to Norman.”
Osborne said he also would want to check with coach Bo Pelini before agreeing to games against Oklahoma.
“We’ll have a demanding schedule as it is,” Osborne said.
Nebraska and Oklahoma made up one of the greatest college football rivalries of all time. They played every year between 1928-97, and two times every four years since then. Their games in the Big Eight decided the conference championship 16 of 19 times between 1970-88. OU leads the series 44-38-3.
The 1971 game, a 35-31 Nebraska victory in Norman, is known as the Game of the Century. Osborne said Castiglione wants the teams to play on the 50th anniversary of that game in 2021, even though it would be in Lincoln.
“We have a good relationship with Joe, and he wanted to commemorate the Game of the Century, and that would be fine,” Osborne said. “I don’t want to commit, and he understands that. We still have time to figure it out.”
AP Sports Writer Jeff Latzke in Norman, Okla., contributed to this report.
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