Oklahoma State is set to open the season against Tulsa on Thursday, August 31, and just in case the Pokes and Golden Hurricanes weren’t excited enough, a new wrinkle to the matchup has been announced. The in-state rivalry now has a sponsor.
Bank of Oklahoma, along with the two schools, have announced the “Turnpike Classic” Series, starting with the 2017 matchup.
“We’re thrilled to support this historic and exciting series between two of the state’s top college football programs,” said Pat Piper, executive vice president of Consumer Banking Services for BOK Financial, in a statement. “Bank of Oklahoma’s beginnings go back to 1910 just before the start of this series so it’s with particular pride that we partner on an event with such rich history and which brings together fans from across the state.”
The two schools are scheduled to play four times over the next five years, with 2018 being the lone exception.
The in-state rivalry may seem lopsided given Oklahoma State’s position in a Power 5 conference. In fact, many fans may be surprised to hear it called a rivalry, because you would be hard pressed to find an Oklahoma State fan that has as much disdain for Tulsa as they do Oklahoma. However, not all rivalry are fueled by bitter hatred, and the series is more contested than you may think.
The former conference mates have played 71 times. Oklahoma State has won the last five contests, but holds just a 39-27-5 edge in the series.
“We’re thankful that the Bank of Oklahoma would partner with us for the Turnpike Series,” Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said in a release from the school. “This series has featured outstanding players and teams that have produced memorable moments for more than 100 years and it promises to provide exciting matchups for years to come.”
We reached out to Oklahoma State for confirmation on whether or not there are any plans for the winner to receive a trophy, but at the time of posting we had not heard back from the school. We will update the post should any new information become available.