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Brent Venables’ Shares his Thoughts on Bedlam: ‘I’d Love to Play the Game’

The politicking on both sides remains fascinating.



Liz Parke/Big 12

Mike Gundy at Big 12 Media Days this week doubled (or tripled or quadrupled, by now) down on his thoughts on the future of the Bedlam series, effectively blaming OU’s decision to leave the Big 12 for the SEC as reason for why it will cease to be played in the future.

OU coach Brent Venables on Thursday took a slightly different approach to his thoughts on the future series, responding to both his thoughts on Bedlam’s future and to Gundy’s thoughts on it by more or less saying there’s no reason it should be exiled (while also, of course, adding a tiny needle at the end on his program’s record against the Cowboys).

“Look, I’m not in control of whether or not we play Oklahoma State,” Venables said. “I love college football. I love the traditions of the game. I love rivalry games. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have played for over 100 years. Oklahoma has been dang good in those games, and for a long time. But whether or not we play them in the future, nobody’s asking me what I think. If they do ask me, I’ll tell them what I think. I’d love to play the game. But we’re gonna play the schedule that they put in front of us.”

Playing Bedlam in the future with OU as an SEC member and OSU as a Big 12 member would present its own hurdles — not the least of which would be meaning it’d be a non-conference game — but it’s clear there’s some bad blood and hurt feelings and politics involved here, too. Just take what Gundy said earlier this week:

“The Bedlam game is over because Oklahoma chose to leave the Big 12, period,” Gundy said. “It’s not nothing to do with Oklahoma State. Do I like that? No. Do I like that conferences have broken up in the past? No, I don’t. But I also know that we have to control what we can control, which is conference realignment is there. It’s probably still going on. Wherever we all end up and whatever schedule they give us to play, we all play it and do the best we can.”

At some point we may get past the finger-pointing and deflecting and actually play the game most people in the state care most about, but it certainly seems like that may be a ways off from now.

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