December 6, 2013

Fightin' Words: OSU win would spark new Bedlam era


It's described still as a lop-sided rivalry, although there have been years in the past when it wasn't always a given that the Sooners would top the Cowboys.

Of course in sports, anything can happen in big games (see last week's incredible Iron Bowl.) But of all the college rivalries, Bedlam has to be considered one of the more mild mannered occasions. Things might  jump up a notch soon, though; especially if the Cowboys get a big win today.

The rivalry's history shows a few times where the Cowboys put up a consistent fight. First there were the years leading up to the Great Depression, where five OSU wins, five Sooner wins, and five ties established the series. Post World War II has been a Sooner wonderland, with just a few dots of orange in a crimson sea of wins.

Then came the 1992-2003 era, where the teams split the ten games before Stoops' men dominated once again. But during that spell between 2003 and the last Cowboys win in 2011, OSU fans know better than anyone the transformation taking place.

Two coaches and a concentrated effort later, and the Cowboys appear to be on the up. That's not to say the Sooners aren't, but this time their counterparts in Stillwater are right there with them. Naturally this is going to make the recruiting field more even, thus increasing the intensity of the rivalry between them.

This week it seems the Cowboys fans are a little more optimistic, while Sooners are hopeful their team can pull off a win to maintain the status quo for at least another year.

But if an OSU victory plays out within the frozen confines of Boone Pickens Stadium this afternoon, the tides will shift. Another conference title an a BCS Bowl appearance is just the boost a program like OSU needs to bring the Bedlam table even, if not tilt it ever so slightly in their favor. A delay in this shift may not be catastrophic now, but it certainly won't help matters.  

It's been long enough since that "golden era" at the end of the twentieth century and a few years into the twenty-first. True Bedlam is back, and the title of top program in the state is well and truly on the line.

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