NORMAN — It certainly wasn’t what Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops wanted, but barring a late change, the Sooners will close their 2014 regular season with Bedlam in Norman on Dec. 6.
Oklahoma’s schedule was finalized this week, with the game against Oklahoma State set for the week other conferences are staging league championship games. The game at Iowa State was also set for Nov. 1.
Stoops and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy had hoped Bedlam would be played Nov. 29 for recruiting reasons. Both coaches would rather not have a game to prepare for that week so they can visit recruits during an open recruiting period.
“Oklahoma State and us playing that game late does us no good for recruiting,” Stoops said the day after his team’s Sugar Bowl win over Alabama last month. “The Big 12, we have to do something about it. We are working on it.”
The schedule could still be shifted, but a change seems unlikely.
With every other power conference — ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC — playing a conference championship game on the first weekend of December, the Big 12 wants prime games on that weekend as well.
In the three seasons that have been played since the Big 12 shrunk to 10 teams, Bedlam has been played on the weekend after Thanksgiving just once, in 2012. That season, both teams played a game the next week, too.
Last season, Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State and Baylor beat Texas on Dec. 7.
Bedlam is one of three Big 12 games scheduled for Dec. 6 this season; Iowa State will host TCU, and Baylor will be at Kansas State.
OU’s game at Iowa State was listed on the original schedule as being either Thursday, Oct. 30, or Saturday, Nov. 1.
Oklahoma has played just one non-Saturday conference game in the Big 12 era. Last season, the Sooners lost at Baylor on Thursday, Nov. 7.
The two games were the only question marks on the Big 12 schedule when it was released in early November.
Another conference game, also involving the Sooners, has been adjusted since, with Oklahoma’s game at West Virginia shifted up a week to Sept. 27.
The Sooners open the season Aug. 30 against Louisiana Tech in Norman.
They start the Big 12 schedule with three consecutive games away from Norman, at West Virginia on Sept. 27, at TCU on Oct. 4 and against Texas in Dallas on Oct. 11.