The No. 11/10 Oklahoma State football team (7-1 overall; 4-1 Big 12) hosts No. 8/9 Oklahoma (7-1 overall; 4-1 Big 12) in the 112th edition of the Bedlam Series presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma at 3 p.m. CT Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium.
On the Air
The game will be televised by FS1 with Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft on the call. The contest will also be carried live on the Cowboy Radio Network, with Dave Hunziker handling play-by-play, John Holcomb providing analysis and Robert Allen reporting from the sideline. Fans outside of the Cowboy Radio Network can listen to the OSU broadcast for free through TuneIn Radio or the TuneIn Radio app. The game will also be heard on a national radio broadcast by Compass Media Networks with Jesse Agler and Chad Brown on the call.
ESPN's College GameDay Is Here
ESPN's College GameDay originates from Library Lawn in the heart of the Oklahoma State campus this week, marking the sixth time that the Cowboys have hosted the popular national pre-game show. The show airs live from 8-11 a.m. CT on ESPN. Saturday marks the fourth time in the last six Bedlam Series games played in Stillwater that College GameDay has been on hand. OSU previously hosted College GameDay for the 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2015 installations of Bedlam, plus the 2013 matchup against Baylor. In addition to hosting GameDay those five times, OSU also played in College GameDay games in 2003 in Norman and in 2014 vs. Florida State.
In a partnership between the two Bedlam schools, players from both teams will wear a helmet decal that says "Stop Opioids" to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic in Oklahoma. OU and OSU are believed to be the first two schools in the FBS to work together to call attention to the crisis. For more information, visit TakeAsPrescribed.org.
In the Rankings
Oklahoma State is ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press poll and No. 10 in the Amway Coaches Poll. The Cowboys have been ranked in the top 15 of both polls since week 12 of the 2016 season. Including this season, OSU has reached the top 15 of the A.P. poll at some point in nine of the past 10 seasons and the top 10 of the A.P. poll in eight of the last 10 seasons. This week's game against Oklahoma marks the 92nd time in the Cowboys' last 123 games that OSU has been ranked by the A.P. entering a game. Oklahoma enters the game ranked No. 8 by the AP and No. 9 in the coaches poll. Although the first College Football Playoff rankings of 2017 won't be released until October 31, it is worth noting that the Cowboys are one of only seven teams to be ranked in every set of CFP rankings since the beginning of 2015, joining Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State and Utah.
Saturday's game marks the 112th contest between the Cowboys and the Sooners all-time, and the 108th consecutive year the teams have met. Oklahoma leads the series 85-19-7, with the Cowboys winning two of the last six matchups. Oklahoma holds a 38-7-5 advantage in Stillwater and has won the last two matchups. Mike Gundy is 2-10 against Oklahoma, while Saturday's game marks Lincoln Riley's first Bedlam game.
Oklahoma State From a Distance
Oklahoma State is 7-1 on the year and enters Saturday's game off of a 50-39 win at No. 22 West Virginia. OSU has the one of the nation's best offenses at 569.3 yards and 44.5 points per game, but it is the Cowboy defense that has turned heads lately. Last week, the Cowboys held WVU to its lowest offensive output of the season (192 yards below its average) and became the only team to hold QB Will Grier to less than 300 passing yards all season. Before that, the OSU defense held Texas to its lowest output of the season. In the last two games, OSU's opponents have been held to a combined 5-of-32 on third downs and 17 of their 30 possessions have ended with a three-and-out. Additionally, the Cowboys sealed the Texas win with an overtime interception and forced five turnovers at WVU. For most of the season, however, it has been the Cowboy offense that has generated the headlines. Heisman candidate Mason Rudolph leads the nation in passing yards and passing yards per game and is among the national leaders in every important passing statistic. He's thrown for more than 300 yards in seven of his last nine games and just broke Mike Gundy's OSU record for wins as a starting QB. Rudolph's top target James Washington is second nationally with 125.6 receiving yards per game and he and Marcell Ateman have hit the 100-yard mark in four of their last six games. On top of that, running back Justice Hill is the Big 12's leading rusher with 836 yards and has hit 100 yards in four of his last five games.
Oklahoma From a Distance
Oklahoma enters the game at 7-1 on the year and is ranked in the top 10 in both major polls. The Sooners are tied with the Cowboys atop the Big 12 standings with a 4-1 conference record, and their only loss this season was to Iowa State. OU has won three straight since, and this week's game marks its second against a ranked opponent this season. The Oklahoma offense is ranked No. 1 nationally in yards per game, which should make for an interesting matchup with the OSU offense ranked No. 3. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, tight end Mark Andrews, the offensive line and pass rush specialist Ogbonnia Okoronkwo are the Sooners' headliners.
High Stakes Bedlam
The Bedlam Series has become one of the nation's most significant rivalries in recent years. In each of the past two seasons, the game was a winner-take-all battle for the Big 12 championship featuring two teams who both carried top-10 national rankings into the contest. Saturday's game marks the seventh time in the last 10 years that Bedlam has directly impacted who won the Big 12:
• In 2008, winning Bedlam sent Oklahoma to the Big 12 championship game.
• In 2010, losing Bedlam cost Oklahoma State an appearance in the Big 12 championship game.
• In 2011, the Cowboys clinched an outright Big 12 championship by winning Bedlam.
• OSU had a chance to clinch the Big 12 outright in 2013, but the Sooners' surprising Bedlam win ended those hopes and set the stage for Baylor to clinch the league title later that night.
• In 2015, OU clinched the Big 12 title with a Bedlam win. OSU would have been the Big 12 champion had it won.
• In 2016, the Bedlam game served as the de facto Big 12 championship game at the end of the regular season.
• In 2017, the Bedlam winner will be on top of the Big 12 standings and in prime position for the title game.
Since 2010, the road to the Big 12 championship has run through Bedlam. This should not come as a surprise, as the Cowboys and Sooners have been the league's two top teams this decade. At 53-14 in league games since 2010, OU has the best record in the Big 12 during that span. OSU is second at 48-19 and the five-game difference between the Bedlam schools is narrower than the eight-game gap between OSU and third-place Kansas State.
An Oklahoma State Win Would...
• Mark its seventh win over a team ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll since 2008.
• Improve the Cowboys to 5-2 in their last seven games against opponents ranked in the A.P. Poll.
• Give the Cowboys their 10th season of at least eight wins in Mike Gundy's 13 years as head coach.
• Improve the Cowboys to 16-2 in their last 18 games overall.
• Mark the sixth time it has started 8-1 or better during the Mike Gundy era.
• Give it three wins in the last seven Bedlam matchups.
• Improve Mike Gundy's career record in conference games to 68-40.
• Improve the Cowboys to 49-19 in Big 12 Conference games since 2010.
Notable Streaks and Trends Entering the Game
• Oklahoma State has won 15 of its last 17 games overall.
• OSU is 13-1 in its last 14 games decided by less than 10 points.
• QB Mason Rudolph has thrown 44 touchdown passes against just seven interceptions in his last 17 games.
• James Washington and Marcell Ateman each have 100 receiving yards in four of their last six games.
• James Washington has at least one catch in 40 straight games - the second-longest active streak in FBS.
• Justice Hill has rushed for at least 100 yards in four of his last five games and in eight of his last 12 games.
• OSU is outscoring opponents, 100-20, in first quarters this year. The Cowboy defense has pitched a first-quarter shutout in five of its eight games this season.
• OSU has won three straight overtime games.
• OSU has outrushed its opponent in eight of its last nine games and in 10 of its last 12 games.
• Oklahoma State has won 29 of its last 36 games overall, dating back to the end of the 2014 season.
• OSU has forced at least one turnover in 22 straight games and in 31 of the last 32 games, dating to 2015.
• OSU has scored a defensive touchdown in three of its last eight games.
• Dating back to 2005, the Cowboys have won 30 of their last 32 games when not committing a turnover.
• Dating back to 2008, the Cowboys have won 54 of their last 59 games when winning the turnover battle.
• Oklahoma State has held its last 16 opponents to a total of minus-14 punt return yards.