After retiring at Michigan, Bo Schembechler dabbled in TV for ABC.
Bo didn't know - or care for - TV, but he did get the network to grant one wish. He got to see Texas-OU up close and personal.
Schembechler had never even watched a complete came on TV. Michigan and Michigan State traditionally played on the same weekend as Texas-OU, so when he moved from the ABC studio to work a few games in 1992 he specifically asked to work the Cotton Bowl clash.
Schembechler came to Austin mid-week to study for the game. He heard from just about everyone how unique the Texas-OU rivalry was.
Schembechler nodded and smiled a smile that said in essence, "Listen, you're talking to a man who got his Masters from Ohio State and coached on the Michigan sideline for 20 years -- I know a unique rivalry when I see one."
Then he got to Dallas.
Schembechler helped call the telecast of Texas' 34-24 win over the Sooners in 1992, as Peter Gardere solidified his mythic place in UT history by starting in his 4th straight win over the Sooners. In the press elevator on the way down after the game Schembechler made a remarkable statement:
"That was intense and the most unique college football game I have ever seen."
Someone brought up Michigan vs. Ohio State and Schembechler quickly stated that the Big 10 contest was as bitter and intense a rivalry as they come.
"The difference," he said, "is the setting. I mean its great to go into Columbus and shut up the home crowd when you walk out a winner, but this, this is amazing with the stadium split in half. Every play creates an emotional frenzy on both sides. And then you have the State Fair going on right outside the stadium where thousands more just don't give a damn about what is going on inside the stadium."
That setting will continue for the long-standing rivalry at least through 2025. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced the extension Tuesday, one that will keep the game in the Cotton Bowl for the 97th straight season.
The two teams will collect $500,000 a year plus half of the ticket sales for staying in downtown Dallas.
Over the past 12-15 years the city of Dallas has spent over $80 million refurbishing the Cotton Bowl. The Texas-OU game is the main tenant for the stadium, and it is estimated that the game brings in over $20 million a year to the city's economy.