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A Deep Dive Into Bedlam History

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This is a guest post by friend of the blog Robert Whetsell (who has been writing a lot for us this week).

Been a while since I’ve done one of these. Not something that you can do regularly as the induced depression is tough to shake. As with all statistical analysis, if you try hard enough, you can find math that helps you feel a bit better about your “side.” I think I tried hard enough. I’ve broken things down to three categories…overall, since 1970, and the Mike Gundy era.

No matter how hard you try, though, there will still be some numbers that make you cover your eyes. This is one all OSU fans are far too familiar with, and the one that causes Boone Pickens much anxiety. Like the tune “Boomer Sooner,” it will be heard WAY too many times.

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Yep, if we look at results…and sports is about results…Gundy is in fact performing below the historical average when it comes to beating OU. However, the Cowboys have been historically bad at beating OU, and have been historically bad at doing it.

What I mean by that is that OSU hasn’t been competitive historically. If you’ve stunk over time, then the first order of business is to not stink. This is where we find our opportunity to feel good.

Average Score and Margin of Victory
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All good information. Yes, the data points under “OSU Wins” and Gundy are limited, but we’re all about feeling good right now, so pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Percentage of Points Scored per Game

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Not much of a change in OSU wins, but a significant improvement overall and in losses. This is otherwise known as “getting closer.”

Percentage of Total Points Scored

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Meanwhile, let’s leave you with some other random Bedlam statistics. Again, the goal is to first be competitive. Gundy has definitely accomplished that. Also, think about this…through 110 years of Bedlam 28 percent of OSU’s total points have been scored under Gundy.

I know the style of offense is way different, but goodness, how bad was OSU prior to Gundy? That’s 28 percent of the total points in 11 of the years. Compare that to the Sooners, who have scored 15 percent of their points in the same time period. You can even go back to the 1970s demarcation, after which the Cowboys have scored 66 percent of their Bedlam points in 42 percent of the years. OU falls at 50 percent of their points in the same period.

Gundy may not be winning as many Bedlam matchups as we’d prefer, but he has helped put OSU in a position to win more than they’ve traditionally had the opportunity for. Granted, we will grow impatient if all we continue to do is “get close,” but you’ve must first consistently get close in order to start consistently winning.

I’ll patiently await the barrage of comments that this should incite.

Biggest Blowouts

OU

  • Overall: 75 (1904, 1st Bedlam)
  • Since 1970: 60 (1970)
  • Gundy era: 35 (2015)

OSU

  • Overall 47: (1945)
  • Since 1970: 34 (2011)
  • Gundy era 34: (2011)
Shutouts

OU: 28 Most Recent…2009…27-0 in Norman
OSU: 7 Most Recent…1995…12-0 in Norman

Close Games (within 10 points)
  • Overall: 32 (29 percent)
  • OU Wins: 21
  • OSU Wins: 11
  • Since 1970: 14 (30.4 percent)
  • OU Wins: 10
  • OSU Wins: 4
  • Gundy Era 6 (50 percent)
  • OU Wins: 5
  • OSU Wins: 1

That’s a pretty good barometer of where Gundy has taken the program. Again, we would really prefer more wins, but that means the Cowboys are in position to win.

Rankings

The AP started ranking teams nationally in 1934, so that’s where we’ll start the analysis.

There have been 83 Bedlam contests since 1934.

• At least one team ranked…58 (yea, yea, yea, I know the majority of those are owned by the Sooners).

• Both teams ranked…14 (all of these since 1970, and HALF under Gundy).

• Six times OSU has come in ranked higher than OU, and four of those have come under Gundy (2009/2010/2011/2013).

• Only twice has OSU come in as the only ranked team (1997/2009).

• 24 times neither team came into Bedlam ranked, but it’s only happened nine times since 1970 and only once since 1999.

• OSU has come into Bedlam ranked 17 times…once prior to 1970 (1945) and eight times in Gundy’s 12 seasons. Of those 17, six were top 10.

• The Cowboys only have three wins as a ranked team in Bedlam, and only one has come under Gundy.

• OU has come into Bedlam ranked 55 times…only 15 times were they ranked OUTSIDE the top 10.

• The Sooners have only lost five times as a ranked team in Bedlam, but four of those were as a top 10 team, three in the top 5.

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