Change in the Big 12? (AKA "How Important Is Bedlam...REALLY?")

(Bumped from FanPosts)

I read this article from Sittler today over at the Tulsa World:

College Athletics Landscape Changing?

And he talks about what might happen on the off-chance that the Big 10 sucks Missouri out of the Big 12. He talks about OSU moving to the North, and the possibility of OU and OSU meeting regularly in the Big 12 Championship Game or even meeting twice during the regular season. I don't know what to think about that, but he also brought up what happened between OU and Nebraska after the Big 12 originally formed. I remember how sad I thought that was, and how I didn't like the break-up of the two traditional rival powers (and still don't like the set-up). For one thing, I've never taken OSU as seriously as a rival as I do Texas and Nebraska. Sure, they're the other in-state school, but compare the records and the relative importance of the games, especially over the past 40 years or so, and tell me you seriously think that OSU is a big rival for OU? OSU fans always have taken this game much more seriously than OU fans, and they always will. (We all know the joke...OSU could go 1-10, and as long as that win was against OU, they're happy.)

Let's look at some numbers:

OU vs. Nebraska: OU leads the series 44-38-3. Both teams were ranked coming into the game 22 times in the past 35 games played (going back to the 1971 "Game of the Century"). Both teams were ranked in the Top 10 in 17 of those games. OU's longest win streak is 16 (1943-1958). OU's longest losing streak in the series is 7 (1991-1997). However, this is not a streaky series; going all the way back to 1959, neither team has managed a clear sustained streak at any point. Nebraska's 7-straight through the 90s is countered by OU's 6 straight from 1972-1977. Neither team has managed to win more than 4 straight otherwise (with OU doing it only twice in that span, and one of those 4 game streaks was in this past decade). This game has consistently had major implications in the National Championship race, stretching back to the early 70s.

OU vs OSU: OU leads the series 81-16-7. Both teams were ranked coming into the game only 9 times in the past 39 games played (again, going back to the 1971 season). Both teams were ranked in the Top 10 on once in that span; the 1984 game saw OU come in at #2 and OSU at #3. OU has win streaks in this series of 19 (1946-1964), and 15 (1977-1991). In fact, they only lost once between 1967 and 1994 (OSU won 31-24 in the 1976 matchup in Norman), and tied once during that time (1992, 15-15 in Stillwater). Currently, OU has won the last 7 straight and 9 of the last 11. On the other hand, OSU has never managed to win more than two in a row in the history of the series. The game has only rarely had serious implications for the National Championship, and then only for OU, with OSU trying to play the spoiler.

(All stats courtesy of Sooner Stats.)

Sure, I love to see OU beat the tar out of OSU, but I love to see the Sooners beat the tar out of anybody. But I still believe and will consistently maintain that Bedlam is much more overblown than its numbers really show it should be. However, I'm interested to hear what my fellow Sooners have to say. If the Big Shake-up does happen and OSU moves to the Big 12 North to replace Missouri, and we had to pick a team from the North to play every year, who would YOU rather pick? OSU or Nebraska? (And I'm interested to hear any reasons...even "I pick OSU because the lack of a decent record makes it a much greater chance of a win, which is always good for us".)

FanPost are for the voice of the fan and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Crimson and Cream Machine administrators.

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