STILLWATER, Okla. — As fans poured onto the field following Oklahoma State 27-21 win over Oklahoma in the final Bedlam game, coach Mike Gundy stood at the mouth of the tunnel at the edge of the field and took in the moment.
In his 33rd appearance of the game as either a player, assistant or head coach, the former Cowboys quarterback wanted to do something Saturday he doesn’t often do. He wanted to take in the moment.
“I did better than I’ve done in the past,” Gundy said. “I actually walked off and then walked back over to thank the students and try to enjoy some of it instead of just taking off and running off the field. I wanted to be able to see the Oklahoma State people enjoy it. I want the players to enjoy it, and so I wanted to see a little bit of it.”
After 118 games, the series is dying because of conference realignment, with Oklahoma headed to the SEC next season. Gundy said it would be a “poor business decision” for the schools to continue, given their conference schedules.
The series has been lopsided, with Oklahoma winning 91 games. In front of a sellout crowd after ticket prices soared, Ollie Gordon II ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns, Alan Bowman passed for 334 yards and Rashod Owens had career highs of 10 catches for 136 yards to become Bedlam heroes in OSU’s 20th win over the Sooners. But this one secures bragging rights for the foreseeable future.
“It’s a big deal. I mean, this is the last Bedlam,” Gundy said. “All the Oklahoma State people have put up with a lot of crap for 100 years. They’ve had their butt kicked a bunch. Now they’re going to walk around and say we won the last game.”
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma State athletic director Chad Weiberg presented Gundy with a ball for his 100th Big 12 win, joining Bob Stoops (121) and Bill Snyder (104) as the only coaches to reach the mark.
It’s something that seemed very unlikely when the Cowboys were blown out 33-7 by South Alabama on Sept. 16, followed by a 34-27 loss to Iowa State the next week.
“Our coaching was awful, so we didn’t play very well,” Gundy said. “I told the coaches their coaching was awful and my coaching was awful.”
The Cowboys have now won five straight and with UCF, Houston and BYU remaining, are right in the thick of the Big 12 championship race. Gundy said he couldn’t have predicted the turnaround this season.
“Nobody could have predicted the change that we made. Nobody,” he said. “If anybody in this room says that, I’m calling B.S. on it.”
Gundy said he owes a lot to the Cowboys fans, who kept filling the stadium despite the struggles. He said today was “electric,” and he wanted the players to know just what they accomplished with the win.
“I did tell the team … that the one thing they should remember, these are special moments,” Gundy said. “The one thing that they can take with them for the rest of their life is the thrill that they gave the fans. There’s been a lot of years and a lot of history and a lot of tradition with Bedlam, and our crowd is more engaged with our team than any of the years I’ve been here. So what they did is they gave them a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”