3. Bedlam finale is personal for Mike Gundy and Stillwater Nation
Bedlam (n): a place, scene, or state of uproar and confusion, according to Merriam-Webster.
This aptly describes the expected scenes in Stillwater on Saturday afternoon. Inside Boone Pickens Stadium, led by the Paddle People, the capacity crowd of just under 54,000 folks will be raucous from the moment the teams take the field. The noise will be deafening, the Sooners will be shaken, and coach Gundy will be seeing red (I’m not talking about the crimson that comes with Oklahoma’s all-white away uniform).
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has been vocal for years now, that this in-state rivalry game is coming to an end because of Oklahoma, because the Sooners chose Texas over their fellow Sooner State foes in OSU, because the mouth-watering amounts of money that’s ready to be had from the SEC/ESPN partnership is simply too great to pass up.
Recently, Gundy has been cool, calm, and collected in response to being questioned about this topic, however deep down, I suspect he’s still fuming over the fact that the school’s main rival and annual marquee matchup has left him and his Pokes behind to fend for themselves in the Big 12 for good.
As such, Gundy, his Cowboys, and the Oklahoma State supporters will be seeking revenge, yearning to use that paddle one last time on the Sooners before the two sides walk their separate ways.
In turn, I feel as if this game will be won before the opening kickoff, and certainly after the opening hit. Football is a game best played with passion… with intensity.
As the former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-defensive coordinator Larry Foote said recently on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, “You might have the more talented team, but if you don’t match the intensity of your opponent, then you’re going to get beat.”
This is exactly what’ll transpire tomorrow in Stillwater.
The Sooners have the better roster, a deeper squad, a more athletic squad — however, they’ll lose because they won’t be able to cope with the unmatchable emotion that the Pokes will be shooting with… sheer hatred.