Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said Tuesday that any discussion of his school’s role in the future of Bedlam’s rivalry with Oklahoma was “childish.”
Sports directors at both schools told work network on Monday that the series will officially end when she leaves Oklahoma for the SEC.
“We don’t have any chances to play in it,” Oklahoma State Athletic Director Chad Wiberg said. “We are full. Unless there are big commitments to make the match happen, it can’t happen.”
Weiberg’s Oklahoma counterpart, Joe Castiglione, said the Cowboys chose not to continue with the series.
“Oklahoma State has not shown any interest in scheduling any future football matches, so we are moving forward,” he said.
On Tuesday, Gundy told reporters at Cowboys Training that while he loves Castiglione, “we have to stop beating in the bush and call him what he is.”
“Bedlam is history, we all know it. We knew it,” said Gundy, because OU chose to follow Texas and the money to the SEC. It’s okay. And now we have what I think are childish discussions, in my opinion, about something that has been done. I would like to make this my last statement because I don’t have hard feelings.
“But what happens now is almost a situation with a husband and wife, or a girlfriend and a friend when you know you’re completely wrong and you try to turn the tables and make them think they’re wrong, when you know the state of Oklahoma has no part in that.”
Later Tuesday, Castiglione told ESPN that Oklahoma has slightly more non-conference scheduling flexibility than Oklahoma State, but he hasn’t completely abandoned the future Bedlam series.
“I think it will come back sometime in the 1930s,” he said.
Castiglione added that the freshmen talk to Oklahoma state officials about competing in the other sports they participate in, but that “football is a little different” because they plan a schedule more in advance and there are fewer opportunities for non-conferences and fewer work schedules than in other sports.
“It makes perfect sense for us to continue the competition between the two schools,” he said.
Weiberg told ESPN later Tuesday that the Cowboys’ schedule is nearly full through 2038 with Power 5 non-conference opponents, including Arkansas, Oregon, Alabama, Nebraska and Colorado. Weiberg said these games were scheduled before Oklahoma announced its intention to eventually join the SEC.
“They made the decision they made for reasons that made sense to them, and I understand that, but those decisions have consequences and this may be one of them,” Wiberg said.
The Big 12 plays nine Power 5 opponents as part of its conference schedule, so there is hesitation in scheduling two more non-Conference Power 5 opponents. Weiberg said the reason athletic directors have to schedule in advance so far is because it provides more options, but that doesn’t mean Bedlam can’t make a comeback at some point. He said decisions are based on logistics, not emotions.
“Once we start moving toward the end of our current deals, can there be talks about resuming that? That’s kind of what you’re seeing,” he said. “It is not uncommon for these competitions to be paused when teams switch conferences. Texas and Texas A&M have been paused. Oklahoma and Nebraska first played in nearly a decade. This is a normal byproduct of conference reorganization.”
Gundy said the Cowboys were not involved in what he called the most famous “billion dollar conversations” between Oklahoma and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and therefore had no choice in the matter.
“So everyone needs to get over it and move on and stop trying to turn the tables,” he said. “It’s kind of funny that they still want to get us into this equation. Let’s not turn the tables. Let’s just say, ‘Hey, we’ve chosen to follow Texas and take the money and we’re going to the Securities and Exchange Commission.'” “It’s all good. Let’s stop talking about it. Let’s talk about football.”
Gundy was blunt at the end of the rivalry, which first played in 1904 with 116 encounters since. In July, at Big 12 Media Days, he said the series was about to end.
“The future of Bedlam is a year or two away,” he said in July. “I mean, this is the future that depends on someone else’s decision.”
Gundy predicted that most conferences will move to nine conference games, which will make it difficult to schedule games without conferences, especially when the Cowboys schedule is already booked until 2032 or 2033.
“You talk about contract takeovers, you talk about getting coaches to play another game, which would be like playing another game in the conference,” Gundy said in July. “There’s a lot going on. I think most fans would love to do that. I just don’t think it’s possible, in my opinion.”
Gundy also said at the time that if he was the new Big 12 commissioner, Brett Yormark, he would not allow Texas and Oklahoma at league business meetings.
“I’m joking,” Gundy said. “But I mean, if you’re strategically involved in a business meeting, and if it’s two cell phone companies, I don’t want someone from my company in my company.”
ESPN Principal Writer Heather Dinech contributed to this report.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Introvert. Award-winning internet evangelist. Extreme beer expert.”