Bedlam rivalry is ‘historic’ with Oklahoma exit to SEC

The last year Oklahoma and Oklahoma State did not meet on a football field was 1909. They played during World War II. They performed during COVID-19 in 2020.

But now Bedlam is about to be no more. The programs will meet as Big 12 rivals for the final time on November 4. After that, the rivalry is “historic”. That’s according to Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy, who made the statement during the Big 12 media day on Wednesday. Gundy made his comments as Oklahoma and Texas prepare to play their final seasons in the Big 12. In 2024, schedules will lock for the SEC.

When asked if teams would continue to play non-conference games, Gundy wasn’t optimistic. And he blamed Oklahoma squarely.

“No,” Gundy said. “We have nine conference games scheduled. And then we have – I think – over 15 years, we’re scheduled all the way. And we’re sold out for the most part, and we have Power Five teams.

“I’m going to go back to what I said earlier. Oklahoma State won’t change what we do because Oklahoma chose to go to the SEC. They have to change what they do. because they are the ones who decided to go to the SEC.

“So with all the talk from the administration and people saying Oklahoma State needs to do this and that, all Oklahoma had to do was not go to the SEC. That’s so what it is. We can cut to the chase.”

Mike Gundy pointed the finger at Oklahoma when asked about Bedlam's ending.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Mike Gundy pointed the finger at Oklahoma when asked about Bedlam’s ending. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The conversation was not over. Gundy was then asked about the awkwardness of sharing the conference stage with two programs preparing to leave the Big 12 and whether he “accepts” the end of the rivalry with Oklahoma. He once again shone the spotlight on Oklahoma while lamenting the broader landscape of conference realignment.

“The Bedlam game is over because Oklahoma chose to leave the Big 12, period,” Gundy continued. “It’s not nothing to do with Oklahoma State.

“Do I like it? No. Do I like that conferences have split up in the past? No, I don’t. But I also know that we have to control what we can control i.e. the realignment of the conference is in. It’s probably Where we all meet and whatever schedule they give us to play we all play it and do our better.

Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables was unavailable to respond Wednesday. His turn on the podium comes on Thursday, when he is sure to be asked about Bedlam and the start of his program.

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark took the floor and addressed the future of the conference as well as the potential for future expansion, with the conference set to be reduced to 12 members from this season’s 14 when Texas and the ‘Oklahoma will leave. He also touted conference newcomers Houston, Cincinnati, BYU and UCF.

“I love the makeup of this conference right now,” Yormark said. “The enthusiasm that the four new members have brought to this conference has been incredible, and if we stay at 12, that suits us perfectly.

“If the opportunity arises where there is something that creates value and aligns well with our goals and objectives, starting with the board, then we will definitely take it.”

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