Tonight, Oklahoma State's players won't be taking the field at 8:30 p.m ET in the Superdome. Or at any time, really. The Cowboys season ended last Monday night in grand fashion, with a 41-38 overtime win over No. 4 Stanford in a game that might have a case as the best of the bowl season.
OSU's fate was decided a month ago by a handful of computers and a few hundred voters who said Alabama was better.
Oklahoma State's Markelle Martin? Well, he understandably disagreed.
"If we had the chance to play anybody, we would beat them," Martin told the Wichita Falls Times Record News.
He said he's "fine with everything," but obviously, the Cowboys would love a shot to prove themselves.
"We answered a lot of questions against a great Stanford team," Martin told the paper. "We just let one game slip away from us."
That game was a double overtime road loss to Iowa State in which the Cowboys dropped a 24-7 third-quarter lead. A different result in that game, and OSU would be fighting nerves right about now and not asking about what-ifs or wondering what could have been.
So, what if things were different? Did OSU deserve to get in over Alabama? Could the Cowboys beat the Tide?
And if OSU had qualified to represent the Big 12 in the title game, would they have beaten LSU?
Vote in our poll.