Goodbye, Bedlam: Baker Mayfield, Barry Sanders and the very best of
Bill Connelly, ESPN Personnel WriterNov 3, 2023, 09:00 AM ET Close Expense Connelly is a staff writer for ESPN.com.
Even in a dominant run to the 2000 national title, Josh Heupel and OU endured a tight game with Oklahoma State. Brian Bahr/Allsport College football provides us various kinds of rivalries. There’s the match of bluebloods, the games that have pretty dependably played functions in title races through the decades– games like Michigan-Ohio State, Oklahoma-Texas or, back in the day, Oklahoma-Nebraska or Florida State-Miami. There are the numerous middleweight competitions between regional teams that recruit versus each other, think about one another constantly, grow to dislike each other with an enthusiasm and use a win over stated rival as the No. 1 determinant of an effective season. Think About Minnesota-Wisconsin (tied at 62-62-8 perpetuity) or, in another life time, Missouri-Kansas (57-54-9 Mizzou).
Then there are the lopsided and irregular rivalries, the ones including a big dog and a truly frustrated next-door neighbor. There are quite a few blowouts in this kind of series, and the huge canine most likely holds a huge lead in the all-time series. However when these games do pop, they pop louder than any others.Editor’s Picks
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are the games we
might be losing in next year’s round of conference realignment. Oregon has actually gone 35-12-1 over its previous 48 games versus Oregon State, for instance, but the Ducks’ losses in 2020 and 2022 (and their win in 2013 )were among the best games of the past years. And in the Apple Cup, Washington leads competitor Washington State by a 75-33-6 margin, but every Wazzu win, from 2021’s 40-13 blowout to 2008’s timeless 16-13 victory that topped a 0-12 Washington season, has been incredibly remarkable. With Oregon and Washington leaving for the Big 10 next year and leaving their in-state competitors behind, it’s unclear when or how frequently these extraordinary competition games will be played again.Bedlam, the annual fight in between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, is the ultimate example in this category. OU leads the all-time series 91-19-7 and has won by 2 or more goals 10 times in the past 20 years alone. However the other 10 games in that span were often impressive, from overtime fights in 2012 and 2014 to track meets with scores like 61-41 in 2008, 47-41 in 2010 and 62-52 in 2017. Twist endings have been fairly frequent because OSU got up and running under Mike Gundy in 2008. On Saturday, these historic competitors will play each other for the last time for the foreseeable future
. OU is leaving for the SEC, and Gundy and OSU do not have any immediate interest in continuing the series. They will undoubtedly play again one day once openings appear on future schedules and irritated sensations go away. However for now let’s take a big gulp of a Braum’s limeade, order some Eskimo Joe’s cheese french fries and commemorate yet another vanishing competition. Let’s look at 10 games that have defined Bedlam.1904: Oklahoma 75, Oklahoma A&M 0 This was the very first meeting between what would end up being OU and OSU, which was referred to as the Oklahoma A&M Aggies up until 1957.
It might have been the best tone-setter possible for any rivalry. For something, OU won smoothly. For another, it produced one of the most chaotic games in the sport’s history.Allstate Playoff Predictor How will Saturday’s top games impact the College Football Playoff go after? What are the existing chances for the leading 4? The Allstate Playoff Predictor has the responses. Inspect back weekly as the odds are upgraded following that week’s games. In the middle of cold and breezy conditions, an Oklahoma A&M punter, standing near his goal line, punted a ball that got caught in the wind and blown backwards and away from the field. As documented by Charles F. Long in Sooner Magazine,”This was obviously a loose ball
, and in those days it implied something. The guidelines defined that if the kicking team recuperated it, then it was a touchback. If the other team got to it first, a touchdown would be scored for it. Both players and crowd went wild. Both scuttled off the field, following the ball. When the ball landed it didn’t stop. Down a slope it went and right into the waters of Cottonwood Creek.”Players from both teams charged after the ball.”Pleased spectators based on coast cheering and laughing,”the story continued. “The aquacade increased in size. Three other players ran into the water, and, finally, Ed Cook captured the ball, set out for the bank and shiveringly touched it down there for a touchdown. ‘”We require to restore creeks and out-of-the-stadium ball chases.1958: No. 3 Oklahoma 7, Oklahoma State 0 OU dominated the early games in the competition, but the Aggies struck back, winning 5 games with 3 ties from 1924 to 1933. The Aggies won by a combined 75-6
in 1944 and 1945, too, declaring a share of the
national title in the latter season. But in 1946
, the rivalry’s momentum changed back to the Sooners for great. OU employed Hall of Famer Jim Tatum for one year, and when Tatum left for Maryland, the Sooners changed him with a young coach called Bud Wilkinson. At one point, Bud Wilkinson and OU won 19 straight games over Oklahoma State in the 1940s and 1950s. Bettmann/Corbis OU won 19 straight in the rivalry. From 1946 to 1957, the average rating was Sooners 42, Aggies 7. But in 1958, with Wilkinson’s run of nationwide supremacy nearing its end, OSU almost pulled a stunner. In front of 40,000 in what the Daily Oklahoman’s Volney Meece called a”bruising, goo-covered 7-0
choice” in muddy Stillwater, Bobby Boyd raced 31 yards for the game’s only score with about 5 minutes left. It was a missed opportunity for the Cowboys, who would beat Florida State in the Bluegrass Bowl a couple of weeks later on to end up 8-3. They would have to wait another seven years to finally take down the Sooners once again– they won back-to-back one-point games in 1965(17-16)and 1966(15-14).1976: Oklahoma State 31, No. 5 Oklahoma 24 OU was susceptible over the back half of the 1960s, and the Cowboys almost scored another win in 1969, falling 28-27. But once the Sooners had copied (and mastered )Texas’wishbone offense in the early-1970s, Chaos grew far less crazy. In between 1970 and 1981, OU won 11
of 12 conferences by a minimum of 20 points, 4 by at
least 44. When the Cowboys got a shot at an upset in Norman in 1976, however, they took complete benefit. Terry Miller rushed for a career-high 159 yards, the OSU defense held OU to simply 68 overall backyards in the second half, and down 24-13 with 7 minutes left, the Pokes scored twice to surprise the unbeaten Sooners. They were so shocked, in fact, that they lost to Colorado the next week as well, before rallying to complete 9-2-1. In 1977, nevertheless, order was brought back with a 61-28 OU win. 1983: No. 15 Oklahoma 21, Oklahoma State 20 OU’s consistent post-war radiance has actually clearly played a big role in Chaos’s one-sidedness, however OSU’s own disparity has been an aspect, too. In between 1945 and 1983, the Cowboys completed ranked simply twice– in 1958 and 1976– and were hardly ever up for a difficulty this stiff. That started to alter when very first Jimmy Johnson and then Pat Jones took over in
Stillwater. After going just 21-21-3 over his first 4 seasons, Johnson rode a transcendent defense to a solid, 8-4 development in 1983. After a 4-0 start, the Pokes nearly beat an otherwise untouchable Nebraska team, falling 14-10, then took a 20-3 lead into the last 10 minutes versus OU. But Derrick Shepard scored on a 73-yard goal pass from Danny Bradley, Spencer Tillman scored to get the Sooners to within 20-18, and after OU recovered an onside kick, Tim Lasher banged in the winner from 46 backyards.”Losing to OU is a little more difficult to take than Nebraska, “OSU linebacker David Webb told the media after the game, “especially the method we lost. It hurts so bad when you eat, sleep and consume football and have a loss like this. “It would get back at more painful a few years later.1988: No. 8 Oklahoma 31, No. 12 Oklahoma State 28 In 1987-88, OSU boasted offending stars Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas, Mike Gundy and Hart Lee Dykes and went 20-4 total– 0-4 versus OU and Nebraska and 20-0 versus everyone else. The Cowboys’ first three losses because bunch were by approximately 25 points, however the fourth was one of the most painful in school history. In spite of his greatness, Barry Sanders never defeated Oklahoma. Barry Sanders/AP In front of a national ESPN audience, the Cowboys brought everything they had. Sanders hurried 39 times for 215 yards, continuing what would become the best private season in the sport’s history, and Gundy tossed for 228 lawns, 123 to Dykes. OU rode a set of early Mike Gaddis touchdowns to a 14-0 lead– the freshman would match Sanders with 213 yards in simply 18 brings– but a pair of Sanders scores gave OSU a late 28-24 lead. Sooner quarterback Charles Thompson made it 31-28 with 2:33 left, but OSU still had time to take the game. They were facing a fourth-and-1 at the OU 19 before fullback Garrett Limbrick was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, but it didn’t matter. On what was now fourth-and-16, Gundy rolled right and discovered a large open Brent Parker in the back of the end zone. Parker dropped it. The Cowboys had to wait another seven years to finally snare another win over the Sooners.2000: No. 1 Oklahoma 12, Oklahoma State 7 2001: Oklahoma State 16, No. 4 Oklahoma 13 At the millenium came perhaps the 2 least most likely classics in series history. In 2000-01, Bob Stoops’Sooners went a combined 24-2, winning their very first nationwide title in 15 years in 2000 and scoring another top-six surface the next year. OSU, on the other hand, went 3-8 in 2000 and fired Bob Simmons, changing him with former OSU assistant and Dallas Cowboys tight ends coach Les Miles. They went just 4-7 in his very first season in charge.And yet, OU was lucky not to go 0-2 against the Pokes.Top stories of the week from
Get unique access to countless premium posts a year from leading authors. – Grading the James Harden trade”- NFL trade grades: Which groups won?”- What Duke is getting in Cooper Flagg “More ESPN +content “As almost four-touchdown favorites in 2000, the Sooners drove 99 lawns for a touchdown on their first ownership but gained simply 210 backyards afterwards. Tatum Bell’s 60-yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter cut OU’s result in 5 points, and the Cowboys
made a late drive to take what would have been the most significant upset in the series. On
fourth-and-goal, however, Derrick Strait broke up Aso Pogi’s lob to huge tight end Marcellus Rivers, and OU earned a narrow win. A week later on, the Sooners would return on track with a Huge 12 National championship win over Kansas
State.Three hundred sixty-four days later, the style was the exact same, however the ending altered. OSU held another respected Sooner attack to 220 total backyards, and another freshman quarterback– this time future baseball first-rounder Josh Fields– led the Cowboys on a possible game-winning drive. But the last pass didn’t strike the ground this time. After T.D. Bryant outwrestled all-world safety Roy Williams for the ball on a 31-yard gain, Rashaun Woods outdueled Strait for the game-winner with 1:36 left. The win knocked OU out of the national title race a year after the Cowboys had actually nearly done the exact same.2014: Oklahoma State 38, No. 18 Oklahoma 35 Tyreek Hill authored among the signature minutes in Chaos history. Sue Ogrocki/AP After OSU’s big upset, Oklahoma brought back order again, winning eight Bedlams in a row. Some were close(38-35 in 2004, 27-21 in 2006 ), others not a lot(52-9 in 2003, 27-0 in 2009). The 2010s were a various story. An almost nationwide title-worthy OSU unloaded years of frustration in a 44-10 walloping in 2011, and OU made it through an overtime fight in Norman 51-48 in 2012. In 2014, the Sooners were wrapping up a disappointing campaign– after beginning the year fourth in the preseason surveys, they lost 3 of five midseason and were ranked only 18th when a 5-6 OSU went to. OU eased out to a 14-point lead, but a 43-yard Brandon Shepard touchdown cut the Sooners’result in 7 with under 5 minutes left, and OU was
required to punt. OSU ran into the kicker on a brief punt, and Stoops chose to punt again to offer the Cowboys worse field position.Whoops. Tyreek Hill fielded the ball at his 8-yard line with 56 seconds left and raced 92 lawns for the game-tying goal. The shocked Sooners missed out on a field goal effort in overtime, and Ben Grogan’s 21-yard basket offered the Cowboys a surreal 38-35 win.2017: No. 8 Oklahoma 62, No. 11 Oklahoma State 52 In retrospect, the beginning of the Lincoln Riley era at OU was the peak. In 2017, Riley’s first season as head coach, Baker Mayfield threw for 4,627 lawns and 43 touchdowns, and the Sooners came achingly close to the nationwide title game, falling in a heartbreaker to Georgia in the Rose Bowl. However before they might play in perhaps the greatest game
of the 2010s,
they had to make it through one of the most unreasonable track satisfies in Chaos history.The Sooners and Cowboys combined for 52 points in the second quarter alone, and in a four-minute span in the 2nd half, we saw a 43-yard Rodney Anderson goal for OU, a 33-yard touchdown response from Mason Rudolph to Tyron Johnson and a 77-yard bomb from Mayfield to Marquise” Hollywood”Brown. OU led by double digits on six various events, and in the end OSU was only able to cut the deficit five times. Trey Sermon’s 53-yard score with 42 seconds left clinched the win. Combined overall backyards: 1,446. The very next year, the teams would play in another classic, a 95-point, 1,342-yard epic that needed OU to stop a 2-point conversion with a minute delegated win.2021: No. 7 Oklahoma State 37, No. 10 Oklahoma 33 It’s difficult not to desire another Chaos legendary before the series goes inactive. However if we have to go for 2021 being the last timeless for a while, there’s consolation in the reality that it was an all-italics classic. Ranked 4th up until a loss at Baylor on Nov. 13, Oklahoma was trying to work its method back into the Big 12 and nationwide title pictures when the teams met on Nov. 27. OSU was, too. The 10-1 Cowboys depended on seventh after winning their 4 previous games by approximately 41-6. It would be much like OU to trash the Pokes’strategies, and when the Sooners took a 33-24 lead in the third quarter after scoring via safety and muffed punt return in a 2 minute-span, it appeared like that’s how things were going to play out. But OSU scored on a 37-yard
goal run by Spencer Sanders, then took a 37-33 lead after OU muffed a punt of its own.OU wasn’t going to make this one simple. Caleb Williams drove the Sooners to the OSU 39 but was stopped short on a fourth-down run with 1:16 left.
After a quick OSU three-and-out, OU got one last possibility. With 8 seconds left, Collin Oliver sacked Williams on another fourth down to clinch a tiring OSU success and send the Cowboys to the Huge 12 Championship.