Brent Venables on Bedlam: ‘It’s an Incredibly Important Game’
Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables spoke in front of national media for the first time at Big 12 Media Days on Thursday, mostly discussing his team’s progression in the first seven months of his tenure in Norman.
One of the issues that Venables was asked about was the future of Bedlam and what his perspective of potentially losing the great in-state rivalry looks like.
“I’m not gonna talk about the move (to the SEC), but I am focused on winning the state,” Venables said. “It’s an incredibly important game with a long history of tradition. Over 100 years of playing Bedlam and regardless of how the scores have been, or the success of one place or the other, it’s important from a foundational standpoint.”
Venables grinned thinking about the rivalry and added some thoughts on the team from Stillwater.
“You’ve gotta have some hate in your heart for your rival,” Venables said. “I’ve got great respect for Mike (Gundy) and the success, their program, their players, and obviously they’ve done a lot of things really well. For us, when the time comes, (Bedlam) is a tremendous focus. In the state, it’s important to so many people and it brings a lot of joy, and heartache, to a lot of people. So, it’ll be a great focus for us and an exciting last week of the season when we meet up again.”
Yesterday, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was asked about the future of the rivalry and the veteran coach didn’t mince words.
“The future of Bedlam is it has a year or two left,” Gundy said. “That’s the future of Bedlam, based on somebody else’s decision.”
That “somebody else” is clearly a shot at the Sooners, implying their decision to leave for the SEC is the reason why Bedlam is in jeopardy. It’s not set in stone, but we might be seeing that last of the rivalry, at least in terms of it being played every year, and that is a big loss for college football.