The will-they-or-won’t-they of Bedlam took another turn on Wednesday.
Speaking after a Board of Regents meeting, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione touched on the topic with some reporters. He said the series will continue in “a variety of sports” while alluding to the difficulties of getting a football game scheduled with games being scheduled so far in advance.
“We’ve built ours (scheduling philosophy) on nine because of the Big 12’s been playing nine games schedule since 2012,” Castiglione said. “And so, you know, there’s some of those challenges. I’ll just offer this, too: that’s part of the reason we’re not able to find an opportunity to play Oklahoma State right now. They have a scheduling matrix that has been built on nine games and they have they have contracts in place. So I know sometimes when you talk about that, people want to spin it a certain way — and I don’t ever try to speak for Oklahoma State
“But I do understand what they were facing and I’ve had really good conversations with Chad (Weiberg) about it and we’re going to play each other in a variety of sports going forward. We don’t have those dates yet on our schedule, but we’ve been talking about those. And I think in time that we’ll find an opportunity to work dates (that) are mutually agreeable to both institutions that might be out there a ways. But I think in the end, that’ll end up happening. At least that’s my opinion.”
When OU first joined Texas in a jump to the SEC, Castiglione and OU president Joe Harroz expressed their desire for Bedlam to stay in place. However, with OSU having a game scheduled in 2037 already, that would be quite difficult even should both parties even want to play. (And that’s not even considering the fact that some OSU fans don’t want to continue the series with the way OU left. A topic for another day!)
Then in September, Castiglione pinned Bedlam’s death on OSU to Brett McMurphy, saying “Oklahoma State has shown no interest to schedule any future games in football, so we’re moving on (with filling OU’s future nonconference openings).” Looking past the irony that OU was the one who left the Big 12 Bedlam game that was schedule in perpetuity, that again overlooked future scheduling. So, Castiglione publicly mentioning the difficulty of football scheduling Wednesday is a step closer to some sort of compromise.
But even if Bedlam football is put on hold for the foreseeable future, there are plenty of other sports that require many more nonconference games.
Kenny Gajewski last month said he wants to continue the series in softball but noted that he doesn’t “have very good luck getting responses” from OU.
On the baseball side, Josh Holliday said he was open to continuing the series but said the likelihood of a three-game series isn’t all that high. He also said he wasn’t open to playing off-campus games.
Most Bedlam talk to this point has been one side pinning it on the other and people saying they’re open to playing without much of a set commitment. So, Castiglione’s words Wednesday were the closest this thing has publicly been to continuing — in whatever form or fashion.