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Bedlam…the historical nightmare that is Oklahoma State’s football rivalry with Oklahoma

The numbers don’t lie, this is lopsided. But the rivalry is alive and well.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


Numbers that have been trotted out a lot this week.

And last year.

And the year before that.

And so on.

I’m not going to drag out all the numbers I normally do. We all know the records. We know Gundy has just two wins as a head coach. But if you break things down just a bit you will see that the last quarter century has been the most competitive since the pre-WWII era.

I don’t know that this is any kind of an official marker, but I believe the modern era of college football began around 1970. From 1971 through 1990, Oklahoma State celebrated just one Bedlam victory, and the average score of a game was 36-13.

Since then?

Seven wins in the last 26 years and an average score of 37-20.

Let’s try this another way…

In the first 90 years of the series (88 meetings), OSU notched 11 wins. That’s exactly one win every eight years. Since then? Seven wins over the last 24 years, or one win every 3.4 years.

And while Gundy has only two wins in 13 tries as a head coach, we quickly forget he had three wins in six years as the offensive coordinator at OSU (1994-95, 2001-04).

As I mentioned above, the last quarter century has been some of the most competitive in Bedlam history. Two overtime games (one win each). Seven games decided by one score or less. Twelve games decided by two scores or less.

Yes, most of those have gone against the Cowboys, but they have been known for big plays and surprises, with most coming down to the last quarter and sometimes the last drive of the game.

I would much rather have that than the first twenty years of Bedlam football that I grew up with, where the average margin of victory was 33 points and only three games were decided by one score or less with just one OSU victory.

The Cowboys are big underdogs this Saturday in Norman, which is actually the most likely scenario for an upset based on historical data. Of the last 10 OSU wins in Bedlam, six have come in Norman, and at least seven came as a significant underdog.

Let’s hope history is on their side this week.