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The Top 5 Quotes from Mike Gundy’s Post-Bedlam News Conference

Gundy on winning the last one, Rashod Owens and more.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — The Cowboys are sending their longtime in-state foe to the SEC with a big, fat L.

Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma 27-24 on Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium in what is the last scheduled game in a rivalry that started in 1904 – – before Oklahoma was even a state.

Mike Gundy picked up a signature win in his illustrious career. Here are five things he discussed after beating the Sooners.

Gundy Winning for Everyone but Himself

Mike Gundy’s Bedlam record is well documented; it’s perhaps the biggest blemish on an otherwise stellar coaching resume.

He advanced to 4-15 in the rivalry game as his alma mater’s coach, but perhaps more importantly, he is going out (for now) on top. It probably won’t make up for all of the Bedlam defeats in some people’s eyes, but winning the last one seems more consequential than losses in 2007, 2009, 2016, 2019 or 2020 that many probably won’t remember. People are more likely to remember the last one.

Despite this rivalry being the thing that is held against him the most, Gundy said Saturday that he didn’t care to win the game for himself. He wanted to win it for other people.

“For me, I go to work every day,” Gundy said. “I go to work at dark, and I come home at dark. So I don’t know what else is going on in the world. But I have family, I have kids, I’ve got parents, these fans — I want to win for them. I’m OK. I get it. I get to go back to work and grind. Doesn’t really bother me.

“But I am very proud, and I’m glad that I’m standing here with us winning. I don’t want to discredit it one bit. But I want to do it for everybody else moreso than me because I just go back to work.”

Rashod Owens’ Ascension

In his first three seasons of college football, Rashod Owens caught 25 passes for 361 yards and a touchdown.

After his Bedlam performance Saturday, Owens is OSU’s leading receiver on the season with 445 yards and a touchdown. During OSU’s five-game winning streak alone, Owens has had 33 catches for 408 yards — more than he had his first three years on campus combined.

Owens stepped in for an injured De’Zhaun Stribling and has shined. He was willing to move around the different receiver spots and even spent time at Cowboy back last season. But after all that grinding and willingness to be a team player, Owens is finally getting his time in the sun.

“I don’t know what to say about Rashod Owens,” Gundy said. “Rashod Owens starts the year as a backup. … He’s a perfect example of you never know what a young man can do if he’s given a chance and being in a situation. 

“Starts the year as a backup and plays in the final Bedlam game ever after 118 years and he’s got 10 catches for 136 yards. It’s pretty cool when a young man gets a chance to play and was willing to step up and compete and make plays. Those guys are special to me, selfishly, and there’s a number of them. But for me, I have a special place in my heart for young men like that, that get a chance to play and they’re able to compete and make plays.”

Bedlam Continuing ‘Won’t Happen’

Gundy has long said that he didn’t think the Bedlam football series would find a way to continue after the Sooners’ departure for the SEC, and he reiterated that point again now that it is over.

The basis of his reasoning involved both schools having Power Five opponents scheduled well into the future and OSU playing nine conference games (he said he thinks the SEC could head that way, too).

“It won’t happen — I’m just giving you my opinion,” Gundy said. “We’ll end up playing Oklahoma in bowl games. … I’m going to guess that probably not so far down the road, bowl games are gonna wanna negotiate around and want us to play them in a bowl game somewhere because it’s gonna be sold out and the revenue, it’ll be a big deal, that would be my guess.

“… To think you’re going to schedule another game like that, and then go through a grueling conference schedule to put yourself in a position [to make a 12-team College Football Playoff], is a poor business decision. It’s a poor investment. It’s not smart. Now, somebody else might feel differently than me, but I’m just telling you the way it is. If somebody tells you different, don’t buy it.”

Not Ready to Talk Big 12 Picture

The Big 12 entered Saturday with a five-way tie atop its standings. That tie is down to two: Oklahoma State and Texas.

The Cowboys also have three league newcomers with a combined Big 12 record of 5-13 to close the year. Bluntly, OSU is a favorite to get back to AT&T Stadium.

But Gundy isn’t ready to discuss that quite yet. The Cowboys still have to finish strong.

“I don’t want to step into that yet because I don’t want to jinx myself,” Gundy said. “I’m not superstitious and I don’t want to start now. There’s a lot going on with it right now. … Guys gotta come back to earth here in about 36 hours, and we gotta go back to work.”

From South Alabama Loss to Bedlam Champs

If Hollywood was to put together a script about this OSU season, it might’ve not gotten made into a movie because it would be too unbelievable.

From losing at home by 26 to a Sun Belt team to winning five in a row and sitting in the driver’s seat to compete for a Big 12 Championship — it’s inconceivable.

“If anybody in here says that we would’ve gone on this run, the way we went on it, you need to go to Vegas,” Gundy said. “But I was confident in this: if the team will just listen, and the coaches will work hard — we didn’t coach very good. We have smart people in that room, and I challenged them to come up with answers and then be able to get that information to the players. And then I’ll handle the rest. Let me handle the mojo. I need you guys to coach and coach your a– off because we didn’t coach very good. It was a challenge for all of us. 

“What I shared with the team was this: that if you’re willing to grind and practice hard — because there is no substitute for hard work — that good things will happen to you. And fortunately, it started to and then it just kind of rolled, and then now you have enthusiasm and you have success, which are contagious.”

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