I have good news and bad news, OSU students.
Let’s start with the good: football is no longer the most lopsided Bedlam deficit. The bad news? The new embarrassment directly impacts student’s lives.
To put it bluntly, OU is kicking the crap out of OSU in on-campus dining options. When I visited Norman this week to investigate, the OU dining team made it hard for me to enjoy OSU’s food.
Let’s go through some of the OU’s greatest dining option hits (keep in mind, these are all on-campus and accept meal plan): an all-you-can-eat Chick Fil-A, Quiznos, Taco Mayo, Einstein Bros. Bagels, the best taco salad I’ve ever had, fresh pasta and much more.
And here’s the kicker: I didn’t even see it at full strength. Yes, much like the 2016 Bedlam game – the one where OU won despite Dede Westbrook getting injured in the second quarter – the hollow shell of OU still completely blew out OSU.
Taste and restaurants aside, the efficiency is better at OU too. While lines still exist there, the payoff is sweeter. When you wait in the dreaded Chick Fil-A express line at OSU, you have limited menu choices and receive a subpar chicken sandwich at the end. At OU’s, they let you scoop as much chicken as you want because the dining team is constantly replacing it. This buffet-style self serving exists at OU and most college dining halls across the country. Why doesn’t OSU trust its students with self service?
The most frustrating thing about this trip was realizing how much OSU lies.
Plastered across OSU’s campus are stickers and signs that read “America’s Healthiest Campus.” Well, as I found out this week, OSU isn’t even Oklahoma’s Healthiest Campus. While OSU has some options for vegetarians and vegans at their disappointing range of restaurants, OU has entire sections dedicated to it. To be adventurous, I tried OU’s plant-based meat –– also known as “beyond meat.” It was outstanding. It was supposed to mimic brisket and if I didn’t see the section name, I would have been fooled.
Another key to a healthy lifestyle is hydration – and believe me, OU has you covered way better than OSU. There are large water filling jugs all across OU’s campus, which are the perfect way to beat the Oklahoma heat. At OSU you may be able to find a lukewarm water fountain if you’re lucky.
But wait, OSU has the awesome Shake Smart place. Surely the restaurant helps its “America’s Healthiest Campus” status, right? It actually hurts it. Just look at the nutrition facts for this place. One of the most popular items, the chocolate frosty, has 261 calories and a whopping 31 grams of sugar. You might as well have a Snickers – which has 30 grams of sugar – instead.
Look, I’m rooting for OSU to build a dynasty in the food game. It’s no secret that Stillwater isn’t the most exciting town, so don’t you think adding exciting food options would be a huge draw to people? It sounds silly, but if I saw an all-you-can-eat Chick Fil-A on a college tour that would be a huge factor in my decision.
OSU tried by getting chain restaurants like Which Wich and Johnny Rockets to come, but those pale in comparison to OU’s Quiznos and Taco Mayo. Heck, for a while OU even had a meal plan Raising Cane’s on campus. How amazing would it be here?
I think OSU should survey its students about food, see what they want before randomly adding unknown restaurants to the Union and aim to better suit its students dietary needs.
It’s time to get better – and OSU can do that if they just ask their students.