December 5, 2013

Bedlam falls across state, even in Grady County

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


This Saturday, a just noticeable rift will form in Grady County, along with countless communities across the state.

That's because proud alumni or fans of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State football will retreat into their crimson and orange corners as the two state powerhouses go toe-to-toe in a game that has important title implications for the Cowboys. 

The division is evident. Out of nine people who responded to an Express-Star Facebook post, five were in favor of OU and four were pulling for the 'Pokes.

The reward is less tangible for the Sooners, who have already been ruled out of the Big 12 trophy race, but state pride and bragging rights will certainly be enough.

"I hope it's a close match-up," Greg Elliot, OU graduate and CEO of Standley Systems in Chickasha, said. 

Elliot knows the feeling of going into Stillwater as a Sooner. He did so a few years back, when Oklahoma won with a late hail merry pass down field. It was a joyous moment, but perhaps one that had to be celebrated mildly.

"It was memorable because we sat surrounded by Oklahoma State fans, obviously," Elliott said.

Perhaps among that crowd was the owner of Solutions Auto, Joe Powell, who graduated from Oklahoma State in 1987. Powell has been a season ticket holder for 15 years and has been to many Bedlam games throughout the years. Other than championship hopes, this year's game could also be memorable with the winter weather gripping the state. Despite the snow, ice and freezing rain, Powell says nothing is stopping him from enjoying this year's contest.

"We will be going," he said. "I sat through the ice bowl, I sat through the Baylor game; this'll be nothing."

The Powell family is exclusively orange, he said, as its a "prerequisite." He currently has a son that's a junior at the school. 

"We support the university, not just Cowboys football," Powell said. "Almost all of the sports programs these days are breaking into the top 20, and that's great to see. We are young at being good. But life these days is what have you done for me lately, and lately we've been successful."

Through the cold temperatures, Powell said he thinks both teams will spend this year sticking to their strong ground game in lieu of passing.

"It'll be whoever is more successful on third downs," Powell said. "Both teams will grind it out, and third downs will be crucial."

Elliott admits he isn't too optimistic about the Sooners' chances going into Stillwater. Still, he'll be watching and hoping for the best.

"Nothing would make me happier than a 35-10 win," he said.

Although both admit the game will probably be much closer, Powell also is hopeful of a one-sided score.

"It'll probably be something like 28-24, Oklahoma State. But, I should probably say something like 72-3; we'll give them a field goal."