STILLWATER â€” Esau comes back to camp hungry. So hungry, he's willing to trade his birthright to little brother Jacob for a bowl of porridge.
If only college football birthrights were so easy come, easy go.
The most staid of games, the most class-entrenched sport, embraces its tradition. Which is both good and bad.
Good in that it's comforting to know that what was yesterday will be tomorrow. Good to know that something changes slowly in this warp-speed 21st century.
Bad in that you're stuck. Bad in that status is moved not just by performance, but by time.
Alabama. Oklahoma. Southern Cal. Ohio State. Texas. Penn State. The bluebloods don't change much in college football.
It's a tough club to crack. Just ask TCU and Boise State. It's a tough club from which to get ejected. Just ask Notre Dame and Michigan.
College football is European in culture. To whom you are born is paramount. What you did 20, 40, 60 years ago matters as much as what you did last week.
Which brings us to Bedlam 2010. The Sooners and Cowboys play Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium for the Big 12 South title. And it's OU's birthright to be in Arlington, Texas, next week.
That's what Sooners believe. Championships and BCS bowls and Bedlam victories are a way of life.
Not so in Stillwater, where such lofty heights are a luxury. A dreamscape.
That's why Bedlam 2010 is so important. If the Cowboys ever want to grab a piece of the birthright, ever want to walk into every season believing autumn glory is the norm, it has to start somewhere. It has to start here.
â€œOur goal is to win the conference,â€ Mike Gundy said. This game could put OSU in position to do just that.
Offensive tackle Levy Adcock went out of his way to declare Bedlam just another game, no bigger than the first 11, but in the end, he had to admit, victory Saturday â€œwould be one of the biggest in school history.â€
The Sooners aren't Esau. They don't hand over their birthright for a cup of porridge. The Sooners like their birthright. They cherish their birthright.
The Sooners aren't giving away their birthright. The Cowboys will have to take it, or at least shove their way to the table to share.
That can't happen without championships. The occasional Bedlam upset is nice. But it does not change the natural order. It does not make the Sooners quiver in their cleats.
Start winning Big 12 titles. Start going to BCS bowls. Start relegating the Sooners to the Alamo or Insight bowls.
Then birthright becomes an issue.
Do what in the '90s Oregon did out West and Wisconsin did in the Midwest. Do what Auburn has been doing down South for two generations.
Stand up to the aristocracy. Stand up for yourself and declare the class system un-American.
USC and Ohio State and Alabama still are bluebloods, they just have to share the wealth a little.
No reason that can't happen in Bedlam. But it takes time. And it has to start somewhere. It has to start here.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.