The game had been on the schedule for November 5, but was moved to November 26 by the Big XII Conference for national television. Kickoff time will be either 2:30 PM or 7:00 PM at Owen Field. AD Joe Castiglione says the University prefers to keep the Thanksgiving weekend football-free, but:
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.
We also know from conversations with the conference office that there will likely be more Thanksgiving weekend games in the future. We believe a process will be established so that the responsibility is shared among other member institutions.
What future games might those be? According to today’s Oklahoman:
Under provisions in the Big 12 television contracts, OU must play on Thanksgiving weekend at least twice in a four-year span, with at least one of those games being against OSU.
Those provisions are for TV agreements spanning 2004-2007 with ABC and 2008-2011 with Fox Sports Network.
With this year’s Bedlam game now rescheduled, the Sooners still must play on Thanksgiving weekend in either 2006 or 2007.
Moving this year’s Bedlam game does not automatically mean next year’s game in Stillwater will be rescheduled for Thanksgiving weekend.
OU and OSU are scheduled to meet Sept. 30 next season in what would be the conference opener for both schools.
If next season’s Bedlam game is moved to Thanksgiving weekend, the Sooners would then have to play four of their last five games on the road – something Castiglione and Stoops undoubtedly would refuse to do.
OU now has an open date on November 5, between the Nebraska game at Lincoln and the Texas A&M game in Norman. The full schedule may be found here. Homecoming 2005 is October 22 against Baylor, with kickoff time still TBA. Watch the Homecoming 2005 News page for all the details as they become available.