ARLINGTON, Texas — The longest-tenured coach in the Big 12 made his feelings public regarding the future of the Bedlam rivalry with Oklahoma.
Mike Gundy stepped up to the podium at Media Days Wednesday afternoon, and didn’t give an opening statement. Instead he jumped right into questions from reporters and was no nonsense. It was only a matter of time before he was asked about the Bedlam series coming to an end. And Gundy raised several eyebrows inside AT&T Stadium with his response.
“I’m a very traditionalist when it comes to conference rivalry games and such,” Gundy said. “The Bedlam game is over because Oklahoma chose to leave the Big 12, period, it’s not nothing to do with Oklahoma State.”
It’s no mystery that the Cowboys have been the little brother to the traditional powerhouse program. As a matter of fact Gundy has only beat the Sooners three times during his entire tenure leading his alma mater. However, the game means so much to the state of Oklahoma and its’ fans. After all, the games are always entertaining, with a lot of exposure and extremely intense, especially at night.
So ending it will definitely have a financial burden for all parties involved on Oklahoma State’s side. Not to mention Gundy is going to have to take a different approach with recruiting, considering future prospects might be apprehensive about going to Stillwater, now that the Pokes will no longer be playing the top-two teams in the conference every year.
“I’m going to go back to what I said earlier, and Oklahoma State is not going to change what we do because Oklahoma chose to go to the SEC,” he said. “They need to change what they do because they’re the ones that made their mind up to go to the SEC.”
Gundy himself has been part of Bedlam as a player and a coach, so the sentimental value runs deep. Regardless of the matter, Gundy realizes the conference is constantly evolving and he has to adjust with the times. There’s a reason he has outlasted several other coaches in the league.
The Pokes have a legitimate chance to become the team to beat in the Big 12 from this point moving forward. Gundy needs to change the narrative of Oklahoma State choking on the biggest stage. All the other 13 teams want to send the Sooners a nice parting gift to the SEC in the mode of a loss, but obviously none bigger than the Pokes.
No doubt the calendar is marked in Oklahoma State’s locker room for November 4. The matchup is going to be huge because it’s going to be the last time that Oklahoma will invade Boone Pickens Stadium for quite some time. Which is why Gundy is planning on seizing the opportunity of sticking it to his in-state rival. All the 55-year old coach can do at this point is control what he can on the field, and let it all play out moving forward.
“With all the talk from administration and people saying that Oklahoma State needs to do this and that, all Oklahoma had to do was not go to the SEC.”