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Why OSU, OU Claim Different Bedlam All-Time Series Records




[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Although there may not be any Bedlam matchups left on the schedule, the all-time series record may not ever actually be settled.

With the 118-year in-state rivalry concluding Saturday night with Oklahoma State beating Oklahoma 27-24, the Bedlam count is being thrown out there a lot. Sooner fans use it to show who has gotten the most laughs. Cowboy fans would say 117 of those don’t matter because they got the last laugh. But that all-time record is different depending on which university is your source.

OSU’s media notes claim the count is now 21-90-7 after its win Saturday night. OU, though, has the record with one more win in its favor and one less for the Cowboys. But why?

In OSU’s media guide, the list of Bedlam results has that the Cowboys won the 1972 matchup 15-38. Yes, that score is reversed on purpose.

OU outscored OSU 38-15 that Dec. 2, 1972. But, the next year, according to an article from The New York Times on Aug. 9, 1973, the Big Eight punished the Sooners for “recruiting irregularities.”

The articles stated: The football portion of the probation stemmed from the altering of high school transcripts of two freshmen players—a quarterback, Kerry Jackson, and a lineman, Mike Phillips, both of Corpus Christi, Tex.

Jackson, who played in nine games, was ruled ineligible to compete in the coming season, leaving Oklahoma no quarterback with varsity experience.

Consequences of the violation included probation for two years, a bowl ban for 1973-74, no television appearances for 1974-75, being stripped of the 1972 Big Eight title and vacating four conference wins, which included that Bedlam victory.

Despite vacating those wins, OU never changed its records in its history books. OSU, though, amended the series record, claiming another Bedlam win.

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