Oklahoma and K-State share connections, history but not a heated rivalry

There are plenty of reasons why Kansas State and Oklahoma can be considered rivals.

The seven Kansas players who are on Oklahoma’s roster are looking forward to playing K-State. And the seven Oklahoma players on K-State’s roster are eager to face the Sooners. Bob Stoops used to work for Bill Snyder as an assistant at K-State. And both teams are meeting as top 15 opponents for the second-consecutive season.

But as long as Oklahoma continues winning most of the games, it won’t be considered a heated series.

The Sooners lead the overall series 71-17-4 thanks to an amazingly dominant run from 1935-1992. During all those meetings, Oklahoma won all but three games. They tied in 1936, and K-State won back-to-back games in 1969 and 1970. Then Oklahoma won every game until 1992 with K-State deciding to play five straight conference road games against the Sooners from 1988-1992 in exchange for cash.

The Wildcats fought back with five straight victories, but just when it looked like Snyder was going to turn OU/KSU into a fun rivalry Stoops came in and won eight of nine. Though K-State’s 35-7 victory over Oklahoma in the 2003 Big 12 championship game ranks among the biggest wins in program history, there’s no denying that the Sooners have controlled this series.

Snyder summed that up well when he was asked about the success he has had against Oklahoma earlier this week.

“Back in the 90s it really was significant. We had some ongoing success,” Snyder said. “If you look back at the last few ball games that hasn’t been apparent. A couple years when we played down there we played a reasonably close ball game. Last year, it got out of hand in the second half, so I don’t know if we have been as competitive as I would like.”

Still, Stoops thinks it is always difficult to play K-State.

“They’re an excellent team,” Stoops said. “The preparation for them is always complicated. Coach has a big playbook, the way they use the quarterback and all the different way they run and play action; there’s a lot to work on. It’s always a tough preparation. They always play-well and play hard.”

That wasn’t evident last year when Oklahoma walloped K-State in Manhattan, but several of their games have been close. Oklahoma defeated K-State by three in 2000, one in 2001, 10 in 2004 and 12 in 2009.

Combined with the magnitude of the 2003 victory, that has made for an interesting series between Oklahoma and K-State. And with the Big 12′s round-robin scheduling there are plenty of new rivalries to be made. But it’s hard to call this series a rivalry right now. That won’t happen until K-State breaks through and starts beating Oklahoma on a more consistent basis.