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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Oklahoma State the 'unluckiest' Big 12 team?

By David Ubben

Football Outsiders' Brian Fremeau ran down his luckiest and unluckiest teams in college football this season, and though no Big 12 teams cracked his list of the luckiest teams, Oklahoma State was No. 2 on his list of the nation's unluckiest teams.

Why?

Outside of an early-season loss to Arizona, Fremeau says Oklahoma State's other four losses came down to small things in advanced statistics and could have fall in the Pokes' favor.

They played Texas to a virtual tie in the offensive and defensive efficiency stats, but narrowly lost the field position battle. It gave up 20 points in "turnover value" in a 14-point loss to Kansas State, too. Special teams value cost them a narrow game against Baylor, too, Fremeau writes.

He also points to a pair of kickoffs returned for touchdowns against Texas and Kansas State, both losses, on a special teams unit that was largely solid elsewhere.

I agree that a handful of plays could have changed Oklahoma State's season, but I don't know if I buy how close some of those losses were. Turnovers were what Kansas State did all season, and the interceptions OSU threw in that game weren't lucky bounces.

There's no doubt there was plenty of luck involved in the Texas loss, including some crazy plays on the final drive and a blown call in the final seconds. Any overtime game (i.e., OSU's Bedlam loss) is going to involve some element of luck, and the Baylor game might have been very different if the Pokes hadn't given up a 76-yard touchdown to Lache Seastrunk in the final minutes.

If anything was truly unlucky, I'd point to the quarterback injuries this season.

Still, lots of teams have a handful of plays that could have changed the complexion of a season. Do you buy Oklahoma State as the Big 12's most unlucky team?