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Bedlam, as usual, is bigger than just a game

Here are five reasons why Saturday is far more important than Mike Gundy will admit.

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Mason Rudolph could become just the third OSU QB to beat OU this century. (USATSI)

Mason Rudolph could become just the third OSU QB to beat OU this century. (USATSI)

As Mike Gundy is wont to do he downplayed the importance of Bedlam earlier this week when asked.

“For me, it’s a game of preparation,” said Gundy. “Doesn’t really change for me during the week. Obviously it’s a big game for the people in this state.”

This has been Gundy’s modus operandi since he took over the Pokes in 2005 and even though it hasn’t worked for Bedlam I’m fine with it.

I don’t need my head coach’s emotions on a pogo stick all season just to feel good about my team’s odds in an in-state rivalry game. Plus if his career trajectory is any indication, this isn’t something that’s going to change any time soon.

Here’s another Gundy quote on Bedlamfrom 1989.

“I mean, it’s just another game, just another team we play once a year. It’s not any bigger than the Colorado or Nebraska or Missouri games.”

The problem with this then (and even more so now) is that he’s wrong. I’m fine with his demeanor but he’s wrong about the sentiment.

He was wrong then but he’s way, WAY more wrong now. There are a myriad reasons but here are the first five that come to mind.

1. The Mason Rudolph trajectory

There are two scenarios that could play out in Norman this year. Here they are.

Scenario 1: Rudolph plays average to below average and OSU gets stomped by 25. The QB merry-go-round keeps spinning in the spring and Walsh is inevitably named the “starter but not the starter” (or whatever) in late August.[1. This is the scenario that involved Rudolph transferring to Clemson and winning a Heisman.]

Scenario 2: Rudolph pulls off an upset for the ages by throwing for 350 and three TDs including a game-winner to James Washington. Gundy can do all the QB controversy piping he wants to in March but there will be none.[1. And if there is I might organize a pitchforks and torches march on the Sherman E. Smith training facility.]

Really, we have 60 minute on Saturday to possibly have  the first stable QB situation in Stillwater since Brandon Weeden put the finishing touches on Andrew Luck’s career.

Obviously these aren’t the only two scenarios in play but they’re two of many that could affect this program as a whole for years to come.

2. Another actual game is at stake

As has been discussed ad nauseam a win in Norman means another few weeks of practice and another real game for No. 10. That’s a big deal.

3. OSU badly needs a shot in the arm in recruiting

Kyle Boone laid out the barren recruiting landscape for the Pokes earlier this week and while a recruiting class does not one win make this one could flip a few commitments the Pokes’ way.

4. Gundy’s own goodwill

As I pointed out here Gundy definitely has a Bedlam problem and now he’s starting to have a public relations problem.

You know what erases basically everything you’ve ever done negatively in the eyes of a rabid sports fanbase short of potentially murdering another human being?

A win at your rival as a 20-point underdog.

5. Honestly? Just general excitement

Let’s be honest for a second. You and I are going to be excited about next season no matter what happens on Saturday.

That’s how we’re wired. The farther we get from an event the less we feel the effects of it and because of that we’ll be giddy with joy when the next 12-game season rolls around.

BUT

If OSU can somehow pull off the victory on Saturday then those Juco linemen coming in will suddenly feel a little more important and the Ramon Richards experiment will suddenly be more beneficial and Tyreek might get a little faster in the offseason and that 2015 home schedule is pretty easy and……

All because of one win by a freshman quarterback on the road.

That’s how this thing works. And it’s important, too. It’s important for the offseason as well as for season ticket sales.

You know it, I know it, everybody playing in the game knows it, and you know what?

Gundy also knows it.

Totally Tickets is your source for Oklahoma State football tickets.

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