Bedlam football in 2010 was for the Big 12 South title, and Bedlam 2011 was for the virtual Big 12 championship.
Brother vs. brother. Mike Gundy vs. Cale Gundy.
“I wanted to beat my brother,” Cale said. “I wanted to win the Big 12 championship.”
But Cale also comes clean. Like it or not, OSU haters, Cale was happy for Mike when the Cowboys won that 2011 Big 12 crown.
“I know how hard he's worked to build that program,” Cale said. “If Oklahoma couldn't win it, I was happy when my brother had the opportunity.”
Which brings us to Super Bowl 47, where the only guarantee is that a son of Jack and Jackie Harbaugh will go home a winner. John Harbaugh coaches the Ravens; Jim Harbaugh coaches the 49ers.
What are the odds, Mike Gundy wondered, that brothers would end up as head coaches of opposing Super Bowl teams?
This being the Super Bowl, we know the answer. The American Statistical Association says one in 11,175, if you factor in all the viable candidates to be an NFL head coach. Incalculable if you factor in all football coaches, all levels.
I've got a better word for it. Long.
But it was long odds that the two best female tennis players in the world would grow up in the same bedroom in Compton, Calif.
It was long odds that two boys who grew up in little ol' Harrah, 20 miles east of our state capitol, would become the only pair of brothers inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
But the Williams sisters did, and the Waner brothers did, and it was long odds that football talk, of all things, would be off limits at the Gundy family Thanksgiving most years.
Mike became a record-setting quarterback at OSU, then Cale did the same at OU. Now Mike's starting his ninth season as head coach at his alma mater, and Cale is starting his 15th year on Bob Stoops' OU staff.
So when the Ravens beat the Patriots, and the 49ers beat the Falcons, “Obviously, the first thing I thought of was our situation,” Mike Gundy said.
The Gundys have some insight into the week that awaits the Harbaughs.
Mike guessed that the Harbaughs' parents will watch on television. Jack Harbaugh says no, they will be there, but stay tuned. Gundy's father often goes hunting on Bedlam weekend.
Mike Gundy noted that John Harbaugh said the brothers would communicate only via text, except for a joint news conference. That's par for Gundy, who says he really doesn't talk to Cale the entire season, especially Bedlam week, unless it's family business.
Cale says the week will be wild emotionally for Jackie Harbaugh. “What a great time for the mom and dad,” Cale said. “It doesn't get any better.”
But, he said, “if their family is anything like ours, it's really hard on the mom.
The dad, being a coach, he's able to deal with it. But the mom's probably worried her baby boys.”
And Mike Gundy sees Super Bowl 47 as a no-lose for the Harbaugh clan.
“I look at it as a heck of a deal,” Gundy said. “For mom and dad, someone's going to win the dang thing.”
This Super Bowl has a lot of no-lose aspects. Neither Harbaugh has coached a team to the Super Bowl. Neither quarterback, Joe Flacco nor Colin Kaepernick, has taken a team to the Super Bowl.
Getting to your first Super Bowl is like reaching a Final Four. The rest is gravy. That's not true for Peyton Manning or the Patriots, but it's true in this Super Bowl.
And that's not true in Bedlam. There was little valor in making Bedlam 2010 and 2011 a showdown. Only in winning it.
It absolutely was a can-lose game. The Cowboys had a rare chance to reach the summit. The Sooners had the chance to maintain their historical dominance.
The Gundys had a winner and a loser in those Bedlams. The Harbaughs? I see only winners in this Super Bowl.