Oklahoma football: Bedlam rivalry may still have some life

Nov 28, 2015; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners line up against the Oklahoma State Cowboys as they prepare to snap the ball at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Sooners defeated the Cowboys 58-23. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2015; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners line up against the Oklahoma State Cowboys as they prepare to snap the ball at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Sooners defeated the Cowboys 58-23. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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When the Oklahoma football program becomes part of the SEC beginning in 2024, it could end the in-state rivalry between the Sooners and Oklahoma State known by fans of those two schools as Bedlam.

It is possible that when Oklahoma and Oklahoma State meet in Stillwater on Nov. 4, it could be the final time the two teams meet in quite some time, effectively ending their annual in-state rivalry game, which is 117 games old and first began in 1904.

Some might question if the in-state matchup between the two Big 12 schools should actually be called a rivalry, given Oklahoma’s overall dominance in the century-old series. The Sooners are 91-19-7 all-time in games against Oklahoma State, including winning 12 of the last 15 meetings.

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione and his counterpart at Oklahoma State, Chad Weiberg, both indicated to the media last season that the longtime rivalry would end after Oklahoma officially joins the SEC. It has now been determined that will take place ahead of the 2024 college football season.

Oklahoma State head coach expressed his feelings about the future of the Bedlam football series when asked by reporters about it last fall:

"“Bedlam is history. We all know that,” he said. “We’ve know that. Because OU chose to follow Texas and the money to the SEC.“During those multibillion-dollar conversations (between OU and SEC officials), I wonder if Bedlam was even brought up, instead of the money?”"

That was a year ago, and now, with the move to the SEC even closer at hand, there is an indication that the Bedlam rivalry might not be as dead as some want to believe.

Castiglione revealed last week that he and Oklahoma State AD Weiberg have talked some more about the rivalry series. I’ve had really good conversations with Weiberg about it,” Castiglione said, ” and we’re going to play each other in a variety of sports going forward.

“We don’t have those dates yet on our schedule, but we’ve been talking about those. I think in the end, that’ll end up happening.”

This becomes a similar situation to what happened with the annual Oklahoma-Nebraska football rivalry, which some will argue was an even bigger deal than the OU-OSU rivalry, after the Cornhuskers left the Big 12 after the 2010-11 academic year.

Although OU and Nebraska have recently played each other as part of a home-and-home nonconference schedule agreement, for the Sooners and Cowboys to play each other in the future it would have to be a nonconference game. Not only are those games scheduled well in advance, but also the issue boils down to whether Oklahoma State would want to schedule Oklahoma as one of its three nonconference opponents, and perhaps even vice versa.

“I’ll just offer this,” Castiglione told reporters last week. “(The nine-game Big 12 football schedule) is part of the reason we aren’t able to find an opportunity to play Oklahoma State right now. They have a scheduling matrix that has been built on nine games, and they have contracts in place (and dates locked in with other Power Five opponents).