ARLINGTON, Texas (BVM) – Oklahoma and Texas moving from the Big 12 to the SEC is something that has been in the works for the past couple of years, and in May, both schools officially reached deals to change conferences by 2024.
That means that the 2023 college football season will be the last in the Big 12 for both the Longhorns and the Sooners, ending many long-time rivalries between conference foes. One of the biggest within the conference, and in all of college football, that will end is the Bedlam series between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
The rivalry is one that dates back all the way to 1904, and has been dominated by the Sooners on the gridiron who are 91-19-7 in the series all time. While the two teams could still eventually face off as non-conference opponents, the series could very well end with one final matchup this season on Saturday, Nov. 4.
As a result, several questions were asked about the future of Bedlam at Big 12 media days this week, with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy and Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables exchanging some interesting comments about the rivalry’s potential conclusion. That began with Gundy, who called out Oklahoma for its move to the SEC on Wednesday.
“Oklahoma State’s not going to change what you do because Oklahoma chose to go to the SEC,” Gundy said. “They need to change what they do, because they’re the ones that made their mind up to go to the SEC … All Oklahoma had to do is not go to the SEC. It is what it is.”
Gundy also commented about the possibility of playing the Sooners during the non-conference schedule down the road, which he doesn’t see happening anytime soon.
“No, we have nine conference games scheduled, and then we have, I think through 15 years, we’re scheduled all the way up,” the Oklahoma State head coach added. “I’ll listen to the board, I’ll listen to the president, I’ll listen to the AD, if that’s something they wanna do, I’m good. But I don’t think it’s gonna happen based on the way the scheduling is. And everyone needs to realize, it didn’t have to happen if they didn’t change leagues.”
Speaking on Thursday, Venables was asked to give his thoughts on the rivalry’s end.
“I’m not in control of whether or not we play Oklahoma State,” Venables said. “I love college football. I love the traditions of the game. I love rivalry games. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have played for over 100 years, and Oklahoma has been dang good in those games for a long time.”
When discussing the possibility of playing the Cowboys in the future, Venables seemed open to it, but remains focused on what the Sooners have in front of them.
“Whether or not we play them in the future, nobody’s asking me what I think,” Venables added. “If they do ask me, I’ll tell them what I think. I’d like to play the game, but we’re gonna play the schedule that they put in front of us.”
More discussions are sure to be had in the coming weeks and months leading up to not only the Bedlam rivalry in November, but Oklahoma’s eventual move to the SEC next year. As both the Longhorns and Sooners depart, the Big 12 has added the likes of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to the conference, putting the league at 12 teams by the time the 2024 season rolls around.
The moves are just part of what will be a major shakeup among Power 5 conferences in the coming years, as UCLA and USC will join the Big Ten, while the Pac-12 will likely continue its search to fill the void left behind by the departure of two of its biggest programs.
As a result, some of college sports’ biggest rivalries are quickly coming to an end. Based on the jabs exchanged between Gundy and Venables, however, that may only be adding fuel to the fire for what should be a terrific 2023 college football season.