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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

OU And Notre Dame A Refreshingly Unique Matchup

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

When you have a unique event, everything becomes unique along with it.

Take this weekend's clash between Oklahoma and Notre Dame for example. It's a matchup of top-10 foes in a nonconference game late in October.

It's refreshing to see a great matchup such as this, because since the implementation of the BCS, teams have opted to pad their schedules with cupcakes rather than test themselves with tough competition.

The BCS system rewards an undefeated team that only beat terrible teams more than an 11-1 team that lost to a top-10 opponent. The watering down of schedules was an unfortunate by-product of the BCS, but with a new playoff system being implemented in two years, that mindset will once again begin to change.

However, the Sooners have never been one to back down from a tough game. Year in and year out, Oklahoma has been among the toughest schedulers in the country, almost always boasting a nonconference game against top-25 competition. Notre Dame is just one school on a list of many Oklahoma has taken on since Bob Stoops came to Norman.

10/24/12 RELATED STORY: Sooners Not Distracted By Hype Surrounding Notre Dame Game

Not only is the matchup itself rare, but it's rare to see a nonconference game so late in the season, not to mention one that has such massive implications on the national title picture.

This matchup is so unique, the OU athletic department even asked fans to "stripe the stadium." Anyone sitting in an even numbered section or the student section will be wearing crimson, and anyone in an odd numbered section was asked to wear white. It's a pretty neat idea, but only if it works. West Virginia did this for their Big 12 basketball football opener against Baylor earlier this year and it turned out quite nicely. The Thunder broke out the idea for the playoffs this season as well.

It's hard to think of a time when the OU administration actually asked the fans to dress a certain way to create a solid atmosphere at Owen Field. OU football normally does that just fine on its own, thank you very much. However, OU asking for fans to create this look for the nation to see just speaks to the magnitude of the game.

Saturday is a unique game, but for these two historically great programs, winning will be the only normal thing about this game, no matter who comes out on top.

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