Thursday, October 13, 2011
OSU now holds key to joining football elite
By David Ubben
For so long, it was so cruel. This "rivalry," if you could even call it that.
Colt McCoy and Vince Young tormented Oklahoma State, rescuing Texas from 28, 19 and 21-point deficits in a span of just four years.
OSU had beaten Texas just once in Big 12 history, back in 1997 in a harmless game in Stillwater between two teams that would combine for 12 wins that year, the last time Texas (4-8) saw a losing season.
The Cowboys program rose, winning as many or more games than the previous year in each season under Gundy. But no wins over Texas as Zac Robinson, Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant tried to help OSU climb among the nation's elite.
Texas hopes the scene will be different after this year's game against Oklahoma State as the Longhorns look to avoid another loss to the Cowboys
Until last season, when OSU took its biggest leap into national relevance with 11 wins and Texas plummeted to its first losing season under Mack Brown.
Oklahoma State was the better team, by far. The Cowboys won easily, racing to an early 33-3 lead and beating Texas in Austin for the first time since 1944.
"When you have played at a high level like we had over the last few years, having so many close games and not being able to get over the hump. It made it a good win for our team and the university," Gundy told reporters this week. "For everyone involved it was very positive. I am sure it had some effects on our recruiting. It also changed the way we were perceived across the country. The win was another step in our goal, to hopefully win a championship."
A kink in switching 12-team Big 12 schedules to 10-team schedules means Oklahoma State travels to Texas again and hosts Oklahoma to close the season.
Once again, Oklahoma State is the better team.
This time, Oklahoma State stands in the way of Texas' attempts to re-join the nation's best. The Longhorns were embarrassed a week ago by No. 3 Oklahoma.
"Things are always better when you watch the video. It’s hard to make a 55-17 loss to a good team where you played poorly good, but what you do as a coaching staff is you go back and find the things that are good," Brown said. "They did try hard. They did a lot of things good, but we made so many mistakes, we never had a chance in the game. You can’t lose five turnovers to a great team."
That's the first goal. With an opponent like Oklahoma State -- the Cowboys are ranked No. 2 in total offense, even higher than Oklahoma -- the Longhorns will need more from their offense than a late touchdown if 45 points are separating the teams.
"You use caution when talking about Texas football and needing to get better. I think Oklahoma played very well. Once the game got rolling, the momentum changed," Gundy said. "I cannot speak for Texas, or their staff. I do know that there is some youth in key positions. That can factor in situations when things do not go well."