"As a University of Texas alumnus I have long enjoyed the Texas-Oklahoma series and the great tradition it represents for Texas and Oklahoma fans," Longhorns athletic director Steve Patterson said in an official release. "We look forward to working with AT&T representatives and the University of Oklahoma to generate excitement for the new name and brand, and continuing our relationships with the State Fair of Texas."
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione added that the game, which will be held on Oct. 14 in the upcoming season, is "one of the grandest traditions in all of college football" and that the school will "continue striving to make this contest a truly memorable experience for the student-athletes and fans of both the University of Oklahoma and The University of Texas amidst the unique and colorful atmosphere of the State Fair of Texas."
The first name change, dropping "shootout," never totally caught on with the media, so it is possible that "showdown" is close enough phonetically to slowly become part of the college football lexicon -- though I would not anticipate "Red River Shootout" to disappear overnight.
One thing is for sure; anticipation is high for the 2014 battle for the Golden Hat. Not only is Oklahoma entering the season as a Big 12 title contender after dismantling Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, but Texas has the first Red River rookie head coach since 1999 in Charlie Strong. Longhorns fans would love to kick off the Charlie Strong era with a win over OU, and the Sooners are seeking revenge for an embarrasing 36-20 loss in 2013.