Big 12 moves game for TV

Updated: June 22, 2005, 12:38 PM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- The Bedlam football game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State has been moved to Thanksgiving weekend from Nov. 5, the Big 12 Conference announced.

The game will kickoff at either 2:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. on Nov. 26 and be televised on ABC.

The Big 12's contract requires the Sooners to play on Thanksgiving weekend four times in an eight-year period and Oklahoma State to play in that slot at least twice. The teams played on Thanksgiving weekend from 1999-2002, but haven't the past two years.

"We're a big chunk of their TV contract, or a part of it," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "To us, it seems to fit pretty good. I always like [to have] two weeks before the Big 12 championship, but four out of eight years we've got to do it, so we have to do it sometime."

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said the school prefers to keep the holiday weekend open for athletes and fans and also to have an extra week to prepare if it will compete in the Big 12 Championship game the following week.

"At the same time, we have to embrace our responsibility as a conference member, and the television exposure benefits our program in a myriad of ways not the least of which is allowing countless fans across the country to follow the Sooners," Castiglione said Tuesday.

Castiglione noted that other conference teams play on Thanksgiving weekend to fulfill the selection rights guaranteed in the Big 12's television agreement. The schools stand to receive up to $250,000 from the network.

Oklahoma State athletic director Harry Birdwell he prefers the game to be played "as late as possible" because of the national interest it generates.

"Any time we can be on TV, regardless, it's good," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press