By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
It’s amazing how quickly things can change in a season. Two months ago, there were questions whether or not Oklahoma State would finish in the top half of the conference.
Now, the Cowboys are the only team that controls their own destiny for a Big 12 championship.
“Directly after the (West Virginia) game, people kept saying that if you win out then you still win (the Big 12 title),” Oklahoma State receiver Tracy Moore said. “That’s kind of our goal, but after that game happened, you kind of have to question yourself. That’s when this team went to work and told each other we’re going to give it our all, and it’s working pretty well for us so far.”
And the win over No. 6 Baylor Saturday certainly helped.
It may not have been the biggest win in program history — evident by the fact that Oklahoma State fans didn’t even think about rushing the field in Boone Pickens Stadium.
But the fact still remains that by the end of next week Oklahoma State could pick up its second Big 12 title in three years after never even getting a sniff of a title for the longest time.
“It feels good, but at the same time we’re just trying to stay humble and continue to work hard each and every day,” Oklahoma State safety Daytawion Lowe said. “We’re just getting better each day. That’s the main thing. We got better. Each week we practiced hard and got better and that’s the key.”
Another key? Not dwelling on the past.
After the West Virginia loss, Oklahoma State could have slinked back to Stillwater with its tails between its legs and let the season spiral out of control.
The players decided to take the hard route to the Big 12, winning at places like Texas Tech and Texas in impressive fashion.
“It’s ups and downs and every day you’re trying to get better,” Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said. “You really don’t want to look further than your upcoming game. We’ve done that and the coaches have done a good job of instilling that mindset into our players.”
“Things happen after the football team plays and things happen in life,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “One thing we tell our players is, ‘After a play, after a practice, after a game, there hasn’t been anybody that’s ever been able to go back and correct it or fix it. Life is about moving on and taking the next challenge.”
There’s still one challenge left standing in the way and it’s a big one — Bedlam.
“It feels good, but we’ve still got one more game to win before we call ourselves Big 12 champions,” Moore said.
As anybody that lives in Oklahoma knows, that’s not a game to be taken lightly. If you don’t believe that just look at the 2001 and 2002 games.
And while things have flip-flopped since then, for guys like Moore having a chance to win the title outright at home certainly beats the alternative.
“That feels pretty good,” Moore said. “I’ve been here where we’re sitting here watching teams and hoping somebody loses or something like that. It’s good to know that if you win you’ve got it.”