Country Music Superstar & Oklahoma State Graduate Garth Brooks With Unique View of Nebraska-Oklahoma Rivalry

Sept. 16, 2021, 6 p.m. ·

Garth Brooks speaks with the media inside Memorial Stadium. He wears a red shirt and bluejeans.
Garth Brooks graduated from Oklahoma State in 1984 with a degree in Advertising. (Photo by Dennis Kellogg, Nebraska Public Media)

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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Oklahoma renew their football rivalry this Saturday, marking the 50th anniversary of ‘The Game of the Century,’ in 1971.

Superstar artist Garth Brooks attended Oklahoma State University for Track and Field, throwing javelin for the Cowboys from 1980 to 1984. Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State played each other annually at that time, when all three were in the Big Eight Conference.

In an interview during the musician’s stop in Lincoln for his concert at Memorial Stadium, he said Oklahoma State is on the outside looking in, when it comes to rivalries.

“You (as Oklahoma State) think OU’s your rival. OU thinks Texas is their rival. You can think ‘well...we’re Nebraska’s rival.’ Nebraska thinks OU is their rival, right? So, you never get to be anybody’s rival, so it’s you against the world,” Brooks said. “As much as you dislike your fellow Okie’s from the south, you dislike the Big Red from the north that comes down, and beats you 77-3 at homecoming.”

Brooks began his time at Oklahoma State, when the Cornhuskers held a 17-straight win streak against the Cowboys. Despite Nebraska usually dominating most teams in the league at the time, Brooks said people associated with Nebraska football carried themselves exceptionally well.

“When you look at the great names that came from here (UNL), they rose above you not liking each other. That’s class, that’s very cool” he said. “Fortunately, and blessing and curse, the reason why you win so much is that you have a lot of those people that eclipse that class.”

Garth Brooks’ Lincoln concert was the last one, before the tour was postponed due to the Coronavirus Delta Variant.

Nebraska travels to Oklahoma for an 11 o’clock kick off this Saturday. Oklahoma leads the series all-time with 45 wins, compared to Nebraska’s 38.