Aside from the Red River Shootout, Bedlam is looked at as one of the marquee games in the Big 12 year in and year out. However, this season, an Oklahoma team with an 8-3 record, and an Oklahoma State team with a 5-6 record square off for "The Game About Nothing." It has been a long time since Bedlam has meant nothing. It has been a long time since Bedlam has carried no Big 12 title implications. It's been eight years since this game has carried no meaning, in terms of championships and BCS bowl games.
Eight seasons. That's eight Bedlam matchups in a row where one team had to beat the other, and they either won the Big 12, or advanced to the Big 12 Championship game (R.I.P).
Bedlam is known for its name, and the game always living up to that.
This season, it's different. For the first time in eight seasons, the only thing on the table is bragging rights. The only thing on the table is not having to listen to your annoying office coworkers gloat about OU's Bedlam victory, or vice-versa (Sadly, it's usually the former).
How has Bedlam gotten to this point? How has Oklahoma State football slid off so much to where this team is clinging onto hope of an upset just to make a bowl game?
We can talk about the failed recruiting classes, the coaching, Baylor's rise to dominance, Texas' reemergence, and tons of other factors that play into it. And let's get real, Oklahoma football has also dropped off in quality over the last few seasons. However, when OU drops off, they get nine win seasons, and make the Cotton Bowl.
The OU team that beat Oklahoma State last season was not the better team. The OU team that beat Oklahoma State the season before that, was not the better team. Before 2011, Oklahoma State fielded teams that should have been competitive with Oklahoma, and alas, were not.
I can narrow this entire topic down to one reason; coaching.
I am hesitant to jump on the #FireGundy train, mainly due to the fact that Oklahoma State football has never seen success of this caliber, and for this long. The quality of athletes between the two teams has never seen a smaller gap. However, why does the inferior Oklahoma team consistently beat up on the superior Oklahoma State team? Coaching.
There's a mental block somewhere in the coaching staff, and in my opinion, it rests with Mike Gundy's history against OU. He sees the crimson helmet across the field and gets scared. I truly believe that. If that wasn't the case, I think we would be the defending Big 12 Champions this season.
How has this coaching staff managed to make Bedlam a non-factor at the end of the season? With all of these qualities considered, why isn't Oklahoma State more competitive with Oklahoma?
Bedlam is easily in my top five favorite things. It's something that, regardless of the history, should be looked at as an opportunity to KNOCK OFF YOUR FREAKING RIVALS. I don't see that attitude with the coaching staff in Bedlam, and that's why I think change might be necessary. We will see come Saturday.