BY BERRY TRAMEL
When Mike Gundy became the head coach of OSU football, the Cowboys had a .197 winning percentage in Bedlam.
Yuck. OSU was 16-76-7.
In eight Bedlams, Gundy is 1-7 against the Sooners. That's a winning percentage of .143.
So a lopsided series has become even moreso in the Gundy era.
But the Bedlam Series no longer defines Cowboy football.
During that same span, OSU has gone from mediocre to powerhouse. From the great unwashed chasing the Sooners and Longhorns to a peer of those bluebloods.
The Cowboys host OU next Saturday, are expected to be a healthy favorite and with a victory will win their second Big 12 championship in three years. And make their second Fiesta Bowl in three seasons.
Don't buy the theory that OSU has become a peer of the Sooners or 'Horns?
OU is about to miss out on the BCS bowls for the fourth time in five years.
Texas would miss out for the fourth straight year.
Check out the cumulative Big 12 standings over the last three years: OSU 20-6, OU 20-6, Texas 16-10. The last five years: OSU 32-10, OU 32-11, Texas 27-16.
OSU's success is not tied to one transcendent player or one loaded recruiting class. There's not one game that served as an ignition to greater things.
Gundy and Co. methodically have built a program that's gotten better and better. 2012 was the only season in which OSU's victory total declined from the previous season.
“There's a lot of strength in our program, in our organization,” Gundy said. “I've been here 10 years now (actually nine, as head coach). There's really not anything new in our program. Ultimately, college football comes down to the players.
“They decided they wanted to be a good football team.”
The Bedlam rivalry seemed at its apex after the 2002 game. OSU had won two straight, both against elite Sooner teams, and was 4-4 in Bedlam starting in 1995.
But six of those eight Cowboy teams finished with a losing record. Those victories over OU certainly helped university morale and showed clear improvement in the program and were better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. But ending Bedlam dominance was not an indication that the Cowboys were on the verge of making national waves.
You achieve that status on multiple Saturdays per season, not on any particular day, no matter the euphoria it might generate.
The Sooners' Bedlam dominance is very real. OU's 83-17-7 record in the series is stunningly lopsided. Even during this golden age of Cowboy football, the Sooners dominate: 9-1 in the last 10 meetings.
OSU has a Bedlam problem.
But the whole Big 12 has an OSU problem.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.