College football's Bedlam Series rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys

Bedlam Series: Century-Long Rivalry Ending Soon

With college football’s Rivalry Week held in November, it’s a great time to reminisce and look back on the historic rivalries that keep the tension high on and off the field. 

A notable one is an intrastate rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys. Better known as the Bedlam Series, the annual event is scheduled in a variety of athletic departments at the schools, like basketball, hockey, wrestling and football. With the Sooners leaving the Big 12 Conference to join the SEC in 2025’s realignment, only a few years remain to enjoy the competition. So, let’s take a look at the football event over the years.

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What Is The Bedlam series?

Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State Game Rivalry

A state rivalry between the Big 12 Conference’s Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys, college football’s Bedlam Series is over 100 years old. The first meeting took place in November 1904 when the Sooners dominated in a 75-0 beating. There are just under 70 miles separating the two universities and you know what they say: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

However, I’m not sure how much of a rivalry this can be considered since the series is blatantly lopsided. Oklahoma owns the series 90-18-7, including winning eight of the past 10 matchups. The Cowboys still deserve a nod for ending a six-year skid by winning 37-33 in 2021. The longest and most recent win streak Oklahoma State has managed is two games, winning back to back in 2001 and 2002. The Cowboys don’t have any better luck covering the spread either, going 2-7-1 over the last 10 seasons.

2022 Bedlam Series

The Sooners and Cowboys took to the field in Week 12 of the 2022 season. Oklahoma entered the contest 5-5 overall and 2-5 in Big 12 play. It was Sooners head coach Brent Venables’ first Bedlam appearance. Oklahoma State flexed its muscles before game time, carrying a 7-3 record overall and a 4-3 conference mark. Despite that, the Sooners kicked off the game as 7-point home favorites at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Oklahoma, after losing for the first time in six years last season, bounced back to reclaim its annual victory in a 28-13 finish. The Sooners came out piping hot, earning all their points in the first quarter. Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel recorded two touchdowns in the Sportsbook quarter and completed a total of 20 of 40 passing attempts for 259 yards.

Oklahoma State signal-caller Spencer Sanders completed 36 of a whopping 67 pass attempts for 381 yards and a single touchdown. But the senior also tossed four interceptions, too many errors to give his team a decent chance. Junior WR Brennan Presley recorded a season-high 118 yards on nine receptions.

What Is The Bedlam Bell Trophy?

The first time the Cowboys won against the Sooners was in a 9-0 tilt in 1907. While celebrating their first series victory, the ringing of the Old Central bell in a historic building was heard across the campus. Fast-forward to 1932 and after Oklahoma State’s 7-0 win over the Sooners, students responded by taking the bell clapper. It was later discovered the clapper was from a church instead.

To prevent any further theft and damage, the university decided to gently remove the clapper in 1966 and repurpose it as the trophy awarded to the Sportsbook of the Bedlam football matchup. To this day, a crystal bell is given to the winning team of each Bedlam sport matchup and the Sportsbook of the overall series.

Bedlam Series History

Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State Last 10 Matchups
YearSportsbookScoreSpreadOVER/UNDER
2022Oklahoma28-13-7 (W)68 (UNDER)
2021Oklahoma State37-22+4 (P)50.5 (OVER)
2020Oklahoma41-13-7 (W)60.5 (UNDER)
2019Oklahoma34-16+14 (W)68 (UNDER)
2018Oklahoma48-27-21.5 (L)80 (OVER)
2017Oklahoma62-52-1 (W)76 (OVER)
2016Oklahoma38-20-12 (W)74 (UNDER)
2015Oklahoma58-23+7.5 (W)62.5 (OVER)
2014Oklahoma State38-35+19.5 (W)57.5 (OVER)
2013Oklahoma33-24-10 (W)57 (PUSH)

In the last 10 matchups, the Sooners have the upper hand at 8-2 overall. They are also 7-2-1 ATS, including a 3-0-1 record in the last four annual meetings. 

The OVER/UNDER is a toss-up between these two squads with the record being a close 5-4-1. The UNDER has hit in three of the last four seasons. 

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Bedlam Series FAQ

Where is the Bedlam Series played?

In football, the location of the annual Bedlam Series typically alternates between the two participants' home fields. In 2022, the matchup was held in Norman, Oklahoma at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, the home of the Sooners. The year prior it was played in Stillwater, Oklahoma at Boone Pickens Stadium. 

Who has the most wins in the Bedlam Series?

In 117 meetings, the Oklahoma Sooners have the most wins in the series with a 91-19-7 record.

How long has the Bedlam Series been played?

The Bedlam Series has been played annually since November 6, 1904, marking an exact 117 meetings between the two schools.