The University of Oklahoma is heading to the SEC along with Texas, a titanic move that will come in 2025 at the latest. Conference realignment has torn apart a number of huge rivalries in college sport, including those in the Big 12 like Texas vs. Texas A&M and Nebraska vs. Oklahoma.
We will see that first game brought back with the Longhorns’ move. Texas and A&M have refused to play each other since A&M made the SEC jump. Now, it sounds like they may play annually once again, which is one of the benefits of this move for college football traditionalists, along with the many downsides.
The move will likely break up the annual Bedlam game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The series is historically one-sided, with OU up 90–18–7 in the 115 meetings dating back to 1904. Even so, it is a heated annual rivalry, and one that is important for the state.
For his part, OU president Joe Harroz says he wants to see Bedlam remain on the schedule moving forward. While a number of SEC schools have annual in-state rivalry games against teams in other leagues, Oklahoma State may not be super interested in the idea after OU leaves them in the lurch. Dedicating valuable non-conference game spots to a series is also a tough sell.
OU president Joe Harroz says he wants to continue the Bedlam Rivalry with Oklahoma State in every sport past 2025.
— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) July 30, 2021
“We want the Bedlam rivalry to continue well past the expiration of this media rights agreement,” Harroz said in a press conference. “Make no mistake. We want the Bedlam rivalry to continue. Make no mistake.
“Even with this change, we want to play Oklahoma State in every sport in every year.”
Oklahoma State’s future is also a major factor here. If the school manages to join a Power Five league with a nine-game conference schedule like the Big Ten or Pac-12, that makes things even more difficult. Of course, if there is a will on the Pokes’ part to make it happen, and Harroz is truly speaking for his school as a whole, they can make it work. Recent conference realignment history makes it look very unlikely though.