Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy wants to make one thing clear about the reason behind the end of the Bedlam football rivalry: It wasn’t the Cowboys’ fault.
It was reported Tuesday that the annual series between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma will come to an end when the Sooners join the SEC in 2025, and Gundy took issue with comments from OU athletic director Joe Castiglione.
Castiglione claimed the Cowboys have “shown no interest” in scheduling the rivalry beyond 2024, and said that was the reason for its end. That led Gundy to read a long-winded statement at his weekly press conference explaining why the Sooners’ departure from the Big 12 is really to blame.
“OU’s officials were in negotiations with the SEC for months and months before anybody in this league or the conference knew about it,” Gundy said. “No objections? OK. During those multi-billion-dollar conversations, I wonder if Bedlam was ever brought up at that point instead of the money. Bedlam is history — we all know that — because OU chose to follow Texas and the money to the SEC. It’s OK. Is that a fact? OK.
“So now we’re having what I think are childish discussions, in my opinion, over something that’s done. I would like to make this the last statement I have, because I have no hard feelings. But what’s going on now is almost a situation between a husband and wife or a girlfriend and a boyfriend when you know you’re dead wrong and you try to turn the table and make them think they’re wrong.”
Cowboys athletic director Chad Weiberg offered his own comments on the end of Bedlam, saying that scheduling OU would create “logistical issues” because the Cowboys “don’t have any openings to play them.” However, Mike Gundy pointed out that would never have been an issue if the Sooners didn’t make the decision to join the SEC, and again put the blame on OU for the end of the Bedlam.
“Oklahoma State has no part in this,” he said. “We didn’t have anything to do with their negotiation with the SEC. We didn’t have any choice on them choosing the leave the conference. They did. So everybody needs to get over it and move on and quit trying to turn the tables. It’s somewhat comical that they still want to bring us into this. I want somebody here to give me one example of what Oklahoma State had to do with this. I’m listening, really. This is like, I’m not the head coach. I’m just a guy on the street.
“I just want somebody to tell me one thing that myself, Chad Weiberg or Dr. (Kayse) Shrum or our regents had to do with any of this going on. So let’s not turn the tables. Let’s just say, ‘Hey, look. We chose to follow Texas and take the money and we’re going to the SEC.’ It’s all good. Let’s quit talking about it and let’s talk about football. I like Joe (Castiglione), but it is what it is. We’ve got to stop beating around the bush and call it the way it is.”
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State ADs weigh in on the reason for the end of Bedlam
Acton Network’s Brett McMurphy spoke with both athletic directors about the decision, and Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione said Oklahoma State doesn’t sound interested in a non-conference series.
“Oklahoma State has shown no interest to schedule any future games in football, so we’re moving on (with filling OU’s future nonconference openings),” Castiglione told McMurphy.
Cowboys athletic director Chad Weiberg confirmed this, saying the program’s future schedules are full unless something major happens.
“It (playing Oklahoma) presents logistical issues under our current (scheduling) structure,” Weiberg told McMurphy. “We don’t have any openings to play them. We’re full. Unless there are significant undertakings to make the game happen, it can’t happen.”
The Sooners and Cowboys are scheduled to play this season on Nov. 19 in Norman.
On3’s Nick Schultz contributed to this report.