Professional script writers couldn’t draw up the circumstances of what could be the last Bedlam football meeting in a long time much better than what is on tap Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Two Big 12 rivals will clash in a showdown with conference title game implications and bragging rights on the line. The two teams head into the weekend both at 4-1 in league play on the year, though they each do so with wildly different waves of momentum after No. 22 Oklahoma State beat down Cincinnati a week ago and No. 9 Oklahoma stumbled on the road to Kansas in Week 9.
If you’re familiar with this rivalry, though, you know one thing for certain: Absolutely none of that matters. The venue of the game, the records and varying momentums of the teams all matter not in this matchup. In Oklahoma, for one weekend, one thing matters on Bedlam weekend regardless of what has happened up to this point: The classic-producing magic and mayhem of a historic rivalry that almost always delivers drama.
Here’s what you need to know as we gear up for a Bedlam brawl.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State: Need to know
The last Bedlam?: OU’s stunning, now imminent, exit to the SEC has created an interesting situation within the state about the future of the series. Oklahoma, at least in the minds of Sooners fans, has no real incentive to continue playing Bedlam in football as it jumps over to the SEC. And Oklahoma State, at least by the logic of Cowboys fans, believe the Sooners effectively canceled Bedlam the moment they decided to leave the Big 12 behind. The future of the series is irrelevant, though, at least for now. In the present, all that matters is that, because of these circumstances, Saturday could mark the last Bedlam football game in a long time. This will be meeting No. 118 of a series that began in 1904. If it’s the last of the series, it’s been an incredible run. Or it could be …
A preview of a bigger Bedlam? OK, let’s not get over our skis here in eulogizing the Bedlam series prematurely. Because here’s the truth: The way this season has gone, this could be the teaser of the Big 12 Championship Game later this season. OU and OSU are two of the five Big 12 teams with a 4-1 record in league play and among the ranked teams in thethat dropped Tuesday. I’d wager both teams will be favored in their remaining games after this weekend, and while that doesn’t guarantee each team wins out, it does open up the possibility of this weekend being just the primer for an even bigger and more meaningful Bedlam.
Run game vs. run game: There’s no better matchup in this game than the one set to go down in the trenches on both sides of the ball. OU’s defensive line have been among the most stout in the league this season in defending the run, but on the other side, OSU — led by a darkhorse Heisman contender in running back Ollie Gordon — has emerged as one of the most fearsome rushing attacks in the sport. The Cowboys rank fourth in the country in yards per rushing attempt and No. 23 in yards rushing per game. Gordon leads all players going into the weekend with 1,087 yards rushing.
How to watch Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State live
Date: Saturday, Nov. 4 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Boone Pickens Stadium — Stillwater, Oklahoma
TV: ABC | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State prediction, picks
OU has historically dominated this series and is rightfully favored in this one — even in what figures to be a raucous road environment in Stillwater. That said, Oklahoma State’s trajectory over the last month has been on a direct ascent, led by Gordon’s star turn and the bully-ball style of its rushing game. If the Cowboys can establish the run and take some pressure off of the passing game, this game stays close to the end as it typically does. I’ll take the points with the home team that has the more momentum of the two. The Oklahoma State moneyline is a sneaky-fun play if you want to ride a home dog this weekend, but taking the points seems like the wiser move. Pick: Oklahoma State +5.5
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