Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was asked on March 31 what it would be like to play Texas in the Cotton Bowl without fans this season.
“It would be very, very unique,” Riley said on the teleconference. “If that’s what it comes to for games to still be able to be played and guys to still be able to play and then for our fans to connect and be a part of it virtually, that may be where we could end it.”
Unfortunately, Riley’s statement might turn out to be foreshadowing. The Texas State Fair was canceled on Tuesday, and that’s traditionally the backdrop for the Red River Showdown between Oklahoma and Texas. The Sooners and Longhorns have played their rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl since 1929.
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Will that happen in 2020? Both sides remain hopeful despite the cancellation of the state fair, which traditionally runs on the weekend of the game.
Oklahoma released a statement on its Twitter page after the announcement, saying, “Our hope remains we can play the OU-Texas game at the Cotton Bowl.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte also expects the rivalry game to be played this year.
“Though we certainly respect and understand the decision of the folks in Dallas on their cancellation of this year’s State Fair of Texas, we fully anticipate that our annual Red River Showdown with Oklahoma will be played in the Cotton Bowl and are continuing to prepare for that,” Del Conte said, according to the Chronicle.
Oklahoma and Texas are scheduled to play Oct. 10.