Mike Gundy is one hell of a quote.
It’s no Mike Leach, but the Oklahoma State head coach has provided an exceptional sound over the years.
No one can ever be better than his infamous “I’m a man, I’m 40,” but his candid and honest reflections on Texas and Oklahoma jostling the Big 12 for greener pastures in the SEC are right up there.
They may not be as quotable, but they’re just as impactful.
Speaking recently about the state of the Big 12, which is losing Texas and OU but also winning BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and the UFC, Gundy said he thinks the Longhorns and Sooners are heading to the SEC for more. money and nothing else. In fact, he went so far as to say that Texas and Oklahoma “took the money and ran.”
“Let’s cut to the chase. They made the choice to financially secure their athletic departments for the next 12 to 15 years,” Gundy told ESPN. “People can talk about all the reasons, but that’s why they did it, all for the money, and took a lot of history out of this league and a lot of college football history with them.” College football expansion and the super conference certainly seem like the trend going forward, but Gundy — like many in college football — isn’t sure realignment is the best thing for the sport. Specifically, the breakdown of conferences like the Big 12 and the Pac 12 means that many of college football’s best rivalries are under threat, and that includes the Bedlam games between the Cowboys and Sooners.
“They kind of made that decision when they left for the SEC,” Gundy said, referring to the Bedlam rivalry potentially being on its last leg. “It just won’t be doable. We’re scheduled for 2036, I think, and I’m sure the SEC will be in nine conference games. They’ll have to do it or the media will kill them. The fans would like to continue to play [Bedlam]but the people behind the doors who make the decisions are going to say “No”.
“That’s what you lose, great rivalries and a lot of history.”
For what it’s worth, Oklahoma State will play No. 9 Oklahoma on Nov. 19 this season. Bedlam is on OSU’s schedule beyond 2022, but as Gundy points out, it will be interesting to see how Oklahoma’s move to the SEC changes things.