Skip to main content

Bedlam rivalry to end once Oklahoma leaves Big 12

Oklahoma State is using future scheduling agreements as a shield to hide its wounded pride.

One of the hottest items of debate (on Twitter, Reddit, and message boards, at least) is when Oklahoma and Texas will leave the Big 12. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey confirmed over the weekend it won't be 2023, and the official line from the conference and both schools remains 2025... but most people think it'll be '24.

Either way, when the day comes, one of college football's longest rivalries will end.

Both OU and OSU's athletics directors confirmed to The Action Network there are no plans to continue the series once the Sooners exit the Big 12.

From the site:

“It (playing Oklahoma) presents logistical issues under our current (scheduling) structure,” Oklahoma State AD Chad Weiberg said. “We don’t have any openings to play them. We’re full. Unless there are significant undertakings to make the game happen, it can’t happen.”

Added Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione: “Oklahoma State has shown no interest to schedule any future games in football, so we’re moving on (with filling OU’s future nonconference openings).”

From the outside, this sounds like the same small-minded, hurt-feeling nonsense that temporarily killed the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry -- which, ironically, will resume when Texas joins the SEC.

Oklahoma State has non-conference series with Oregon (2025-26), Arkansas (2027, 2032-33), Alabama (2028-29), Nebraska (2034-35) and Colorado (2036-37) that, apparently, take precedent over Bedlam.

The Bedlam rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State is older (1904) than the state of Oklahoma (1907). It also happens to be the most lopsided annual rivalry in college football; OU leads 90-19-7. But coming off an Oklahoma State win in 2021, to think that OSU fans would rather see their team play Arkansas, Nebraska or Colorado instead of their oldest rival is pure nonsense. Weiberg and Oklahoma State are cutting off their nose to spite their fan base. 

The electric atmosphere at the Pitt-West Virginia game (at a place, Pittsburgh, that does not specialize in electric atmospheres) proved that fans want to see their school play their rivals. (Only in college football does this qualify as anything other than common sense.) No one's saying OU and OSU have to play every single year, but to permanently sever ties between Oklahoma's only major college football programs? 

OSU's pride wins, while everyone else loses.