NORMAN — Not only will Oklahoma State get the Sooners in Stillwater a second consecutive year, it now will have an extra week to prepare.
Thursday, the Big 12 Conference announced that Oklahoma's home game against Iowa State has been moved to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
That same weekend, OSU has an open date, giving the Cowboys an additional week to get ready for the Dec. 3 Bedlam showdown, which last year determined the Big 12 South Division title.
The rest of OU's schedule was also finalized. It includes open dates on Sept. 10 — the weekend before the Sooners travel to Florida State — and Nov. 12 — the Saturday OU originally was scheduled to face the Cyclones.
The release of the schedule was delayed months as the Big 12 and its television partners discussed how to maximize league revenue with the reduction to 10 teams and the transition to a round-robin format.
“We appreciate the patience of our fans as we completed this process,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a statement. “We encountered unusual circumstances this year, but those circumstances were unavoidable. We now feel like we have a schedule that provides good rhythm and continuity for our fans and team, and yet still provides great exposure for us through television.”
Even though it gives OSU an extra week to get ready for Bedlam, coach Bob Stoops had been hoping for a Thanksgiving game, and an open date earlier in the season instead.
“I don't think a bye late in the season is a good thing,” Stoops said after the Red-White Spring Game. “You're in a rhythm and would like to keep playing.”
Stoops pointed to 2003, when the undefeated Sooners had an extra week off before the Big 12 Championship, and got wiped out by Kansas State, 35-7.
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