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Bedlam football made a splash even before statehood



Even before Oklahoma officially became a state on Nov. 16, 1907, teams from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University were battling it out for gridiron supremacy.

In fact, the first-ever meeting between the then-fledgling rivals occurred on the banks of Cottonwood Creek, near the state's original capital city of Guthrie, on Nov. 5, 1904.

It was a cold and blustery day, and heavy rains had left the nearby creek swollen and the playing field in less-than-desirable condition.

A kick from the Aggies sailed straight up into the stiff winds that caught the ball and actually blew it back over their heads and toward the creek.

A mad scramble ensued, as the rules of that period allowed for the ball to remain live until touched by a member of either team, despite the fact it had exited the field of play.

But the ball bounced into the icy waters. A number of players followed into the creek, including OU's Ed Cook, who was the first to reach the ball and managed to swim back to shore for the first score of the series. That bravery helped spark OU to a 75-0 victory.

While the series did not pick up its "bedlam" tag until years later, that memorable contest in 1904 certainly fit the description: "a scene or state of wild uproar and confusion." "Jay C. Upchurch


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