It almost too hokey, Oklahoma having a leading man, Billy Sims, with a street already named after him in his hometown and a quarterback to orchestrate the show named Julius Caesar -- that is Julius Caesar Watts.
The University of Texas was betrayed by graduation and is now down to two Joneses. Johnny (Ham) Jones has departed, so there are only Johnny (Lam) Jones, a senior wide receiver, and A.J. (Jam) Jones, the sophomore running back.
The Longhorns also have a "Mr. Goodfoot," John Goodson, a barefooted kicking specialist and walk-on candidate for the team who was awarded a schlolarship after four field goals against Missouri.
They are all part of the casting for the 34th consecutive sellout for this classic feud in the Cotton Bowl, which will be shown on television by ABC (WJLA-TV-7) at 3:30 p.m., or whenever the World Series game ends Saturday.
Oklahoma is ranked No. 3 in the nation and Texas is No. 4. For the 22nd time, both teams come into the game unbeaten. The price of tickets from speculators made a news broadcast here Thursday -- $165 a pair.
They figure to be snapped up by the high rollers who come in from Norman (Okla.) and Austin by private jet Ninety percent of the other people come in by car, a 200-mile shot from either campus. Hotel accommodations are no problem if one is willing to stay in Mineral Wells, 30 miles away.
Attendance for college football is up but television ratings have been down. This game should do something about the latter statistic.
A nation that saw rain and traces of snow at the World Series setting in Baltimore figures to see a different sort of weather here. Temperatures hit a record for the date of 99 degrees Thursday. What television fans won't see here might rival in interest the competition on the field.
This game is a "hoot and a toot." It started at sundown tonight: thousands walking up Main Street and then across and down Elm Street, more often than not a plastic cup in hand containin g spirits.
Texas and Okahoma fans taunt each other with enough vigor to drown out a rock concert going full blast. Simultaniously, everyone with wheels makes the same sort of tour, saying, in effect honk if you think this is the most fun since the pig ate your best shirt.
All this lasts until the unwritten signoff time of about 3 a.m. Saturday. How are the football teams assured a reasonably restful sleep? By adopting George Allen's pregame plan. The sooners stay at a motel the other side at Fort Worth; the Longhorns go to an inn in suburban Irving.
There is a housing shortage here for fans that has hotel officials concerned more than usual. The Baker Hotel, where Texas adherents used to stay and shout endearments at Sooners fans, who responded across the street from the Adolphus, is closed prior to demolition.
Signs on the front of the Baker say "Public Sale of Contents, Furniture, etc." The hotel could have saved itself the cost of disposal by renting rooms this weekend.
The fans have a history of heaving obstacles out of hotel windows. "I have seen mattresses thrown on the people in the streets," said Jones Ramsey, a publicist for the University of Texas for 19 years, "but I've never seen people thrown."
"The 'in' thing used to be to get the newspaper in the morning to see who was the first person arrested."
One social historian recalls a Dallas resident awakening the morning after one of these bacchanals and noticing that someone had painted his new sports car Texas orange.
At one point, it got so bad that the universities banned official pep rallies. Street toughs from Dallas had joined the reveling and, after knifings and injuries to police resulted, the partying became more confined. A recent trend is to have posh parties in private residences, some of which have seemed to be inspired by the film, "North Dallas Forty."
Still fearing that guests may be more interested in leading the Southwest Conference in furniture breaking than in football, hotels today were busy moving furnishings out of the lobbies and icing down bathtubs and filling them with beer. They deny that toilet tissue will be rationed on the upper floors or that doormen will be equipped with hard hats. Deposits against possible damages are required.
For big oil men from Oklahoma and the oil-cattle-banking diversifiers from Dallsa, there are expensive party favors designed just for the game.
One is a life-sized clown. You punch it in the stomach and it plays the Okalhoma fight song. These sold fast Door chimes have orchestrated to play the first bars of, "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You." Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims gained 131 yards rushing, scored two touchdowns and caught a pass for 35 yards in Oklahoma's 31-10 victory last year.
After he won the trophy, a street in Hooks, Tex., was named "Billy Sims Road." When Oklahoma assistant coach Don Jimerson later ribbed the running back by saying, "Hey, Billy, I just found Hooks, Tex., on the map, " Sims snapped back, "Yeah, I put it there."
After four games this year, Sims is leading the nation in scoring, with 66 points. He has rushed for 100 yards or more in 13 consecutive games over two years and has scored at least two touchdowns in seven straight.
It amy be of small comfort of Texas that he says, "I don't think I'm much better than I was last year, but I've built up my body from 205 to 210 pounds and it's helped my blocking."
Texas presents a pointed challenge because the Longhorns are leading the NCAA in total defense and are fourth against the rush. On offense, A. J. (Jam) Jones is third in the nation in rushing and kicker John Goodson leadsf in field goals per game, with nine.