STILLWATER — Fans at Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday night should realize they will be under a severe storm warning — and not just because of the combination of cold wind and rain expected to hit Stillwater.
A Bedlam showdown between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State is enough to create a charged atmosphere, both on the field and in the stands. But also on the line for OSU is its first Big 12 championship and BCS bowl berth.
That makes it the biggest home game in OSU history — one that would cause the fans to storm the field if the No. 3 Cowboys win, even though they are the favorites against the No. 10 Sooners.
“We realize what's at stake,” OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “We realize all what's involved.”
OSU has come close to entering college football's elite club in recent years, winning at least nine games each of the past four seasons. But the Cowboys have never been able to overtake a conference dominated by Texas and OU during the past decade.
“It's been a long time and it's been a tough battle for us to get in position to even talk about saying ‘OK, we need to win a game (to win a conference title),'” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “There's some fight involved in it, now.”
The Cowboys entered last year's Bedlam game in a similar situation to this year, as the winner would represent the South in the Big 12 title game. OSU lost 47-41.
This season, OSU, OU and Texas A&M started the season ranked in the top 10, including the Sooners at No. 1. But everything changed on Oct. 22 when the Sooners lost at home to Texas Tech.
That vaulted OSU into the position as the team to beat in the Big 12 and the conference's national title contender.
The Cowboys, paced by an explosive offense and an opportunistic defense, bolted out to 10-0 start and climbed to No. 2 in the BCS. Then came a double-overtime loss at Iowa State, which all but ended OSU's hopes of playing in New Orleans on Jan. 9.
Still, a Bedlam win would cap the best regular season in OSU history. And these Cowboys want to become the group that allowed OSU to storm into the BCS club.
“Somebody has to be the first to do it,” OSU safety Daytawion Lowe said. “Once the first has done it, it ain't so hard no more.”