Here's what we learned after a hectic night in the Big 12 leading to a nervous day for those in Stillwater.
No matter what happens tonight, Oklahoma State has reached new heights. Mike Gundy drank it in on Saturday night and into Sunday morning. He’s finally beaten Oklahoma for the first time as the head coach of his alma mater, and he couldn’t have done it in a bigger spot or in more convincing fashion. With the BCS title-game matchup all but sewn up, the Cowboys butted into the conversation and will make the nation sweat leading up to tonight’s BCS countdown show, which kicks off on ESPN at 8:15 p.m. ET. The Cowboys beat OU for the first time since 2002, got their first outright conference title ever and first piece of a title since 1976, celebrating with the trophy in the locker room. BCS title shot or not, that made Justin Blackmon's and Brandon Weeden’s decisions to come back worthwhile.
We can strike a blow for offense in the “defense wins championships [or stuff]” debate. Texas had been the Big 12’s best defense for most of the season, save for a rough outing against Oklahoma. Then it met Robert Griffin III. What a performance for Griffin, who may have sewn up the Heisman and Davey O’Brien Award with the final say while Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson sat. It’ll be close, but Baylor, which has been one of the Big 12’s best offenses all season, made it look easy against the Longhorns.
Oklahoma shouldn’t freak out. It feels terrible, Sooners, I know. I mentioned it on Twitter last night, but it feels like the Sooner Nation goes through an existential crisis every single time OU loses. Don’t worry about this one. Oklahoma State was the better team. Landry Jones was playing without his best weapons and the Sooners inexplicably ignored their running game most of the night, which was an off one for Jones anyway. It was a bad game against a better team. Nothing more. Don’t jump off any ledges or worry about the future of the program. This was a disappointing year for Oklahoma, but not indicative of too many larger truths, except that the Bedlam rivalry is about to get real serious and real relevant for a whole lot of years moving forward.
Kansas State can finish, and is amazing. Ten wins. Anyone think that was possible? I said in the preseason Kansas State had a lot of upside, but this much? No way. K-State didn’t get a share of the Big 12 title, but the Wildcats may sneak into the BCS. Think about that. This team? With Bill Snyder redux roaming the sideline? In his third year, Snyder may put the Cats in the BCS for the first time since 2003. Unbelievable. The only coach with a case to challenge him for national coach of the year is Les Miles, and it’s close. I’d lean toward Snyder.