STILLWATER, Okla. — In the hours earlier than No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 11 Oklahoma State met for the 112th time on a soccer discipline, “Bedlam” had by no means felt extra becoming because the nickname for this rivalry. The phrase itself was plastered in all places throughout the state; on promoting boards and T-shirts and on the indicators behind the set of ESPN’s “College GameDay,” which was on campus for this sequence for the sixth time on Saturday morning.
Yet the time period “Bedlam” and the way it turned the official label of this sequence has lengthy been one thing of a thriller. The origin of the rivalry title is definitely rooted within the wealthy historical past of wrestling duals between the colleges, which have met 175 occasions on the mat; in keeping with the Oklahoma State University Archives, a reporter as soon as described one of many early wrestling duals as “bedlam” and the title was ultimately connected to the overall athletics rivalry between the colleges.
It isn’t clear when the time period was connected to the soccer sequence. The Oklahoman reported in 2005 that the phrase “bedlam series” didn’t present up the newspaper’s archives till March three, 1943, and that was in reference to the basketball sequence.
Whatever its etymology, Bedlam has turn out to be more and more related to the soccer rivalry as its profile has risen over the previous decade — each groups have been ranked in seven of their final eight conferences. Oklahoma has dominated the sequence, holding an 85-19-7 head-to-head document, together with 38-7-5 benefit in Stillwater. Cowboys Coach Mike Gundy is simply 2-10 all-time towards the Sooners.
But Saturday ought to mark the seventh time within the final ten years that the Bedlam sport will straight influence which workforce wins the Big 12 common season championship.
That the sport is on Nov. four this season provides a distinct really feel to the rivalry, too; for a decade, these groups have met within the common season finale. The previous two seasons have provided a winner-take-all battle for the Big 12 title — however the revival this season of a convention championship sport modifications the complexion of Saturday’s sport. So does the truth that Gundy will probably be squaring off towards a brand new Sooners coach, Lincoln Riley, fairly than Bob Stoops.
“I know it’s an important game to this state, to this conference race right now, an important game on the national scene,” Riley mentioned earlier this week. “That’s how Bedlam should be.”
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