I remember when I used to dread the Texas game.
I had made peace with the fact that Oklahoma State would lose to Oklahoma pretty much every year, but at least the Cowboys would occasionally steal a win here and there.
When I grew up, that wasn’t the case with the Longhorns. Year after year, they knocked OSU down. Whether it be Vince Young coming back from a 19-point deficit in 2005 to beat OSU as the Longhorns went on to win the Big 12’s most recent national championship or a few years later, in 2007 when the Longhorns again came back behind what seemed like 1,000 yards from Jamaal Charles in the fourth quarter.
Both of those games were in Stillwater, the one place I figured we could ever beat Texas because DKR down in Austin seemed impenetrable.
Little did I know what was about to happen. First, though, a memory of the last time I really felt embarrassed by the Longhorns.
I was living at my friend Tyler Alcorn’s house and it was Halloween night, 2009. All week, I had been saying the Cowboys were going to finally do it. They hadn’t beat Texas in more than a decade, but that night at Boone Pickens Stadium, they would.
Zac Robinson and the OSU offense instead got eaten alive by Brian Orakpo and a fearsome UT defense. They had done the same to OU earlier in the year, but I had hope OSU might best them with what had been its best team in years.
OSU lost that game 41-14 to fall to 2-21 all time against the Longhorns. Yeah, pretty sad. The one thing I remember about that night the most, we played football in the back yard after that and I almost chased Tyler down. Now, Tyler was a great athlete, an all-around basketball player who I always said played like Steve Nash.
I was skinnier back then, but still not athletic and I almost did it. That has nothing to do with Texas or this column, but it is one of my most prominent memories.
The point I am making, though, is that night all my frustrations were tenfold, but who would have known that in a decade’s time, there have been kids born who know the matchup as a competitive one. Heck, they even see it as one in favor of the Cowboys.
That very next year, in 2010, Brandon Weeden marched down to Austin and won OSU’s first game against the Burnt Orange Crew since 1998. In 2011, during the Cowboys’ magical run, OSU went down to Austin again (some weird scheduling issues that year) and won again on the Cowboys’ way to a Big 12 title and what should have been a national title game appearance.
In 2012, OSU should have won again, but the Big 12 messed up on UT’s final touchdown where the guy fumbled but they didn’t call it.
The Cowboys whooped them in 2013, the Longhorns returned the favor in ‘14, Mason Rudolph and the ‘Boys snuck one out in Austin in 2015 before winning the next year in Stillwater for the first time since the 1940s. Ramon Richards had the big play in 2017 and Taylor Cornelius led the charge last year.
That’s right, in a series that was formerly dominated by the Longhorns, OSU has won four-straight. They have won five-straight in Austin and are going for six, the Cowboys have more wins deep in the heart of Texas than Notre Dame.
Mike Gundy might be dogged on for some of his shortcomings, especially against OU in Bedlam, but against a blue blood team (even with its mostly forgettable past 10 years) he has gotten his team ready to play. He is 7-7 all time against them after spotting them four-straight to start his career.
While it might not be a big deal to some of the younger crowd, it is still a big deal to me when OSU beats Texas. The Cowboys are going against five-star athletes and a program who turned down a lot of the OSU players in high school. There is a reason the UT fans have sold out DKR in Saturday’s primetime game and that is because they are mad.
They want to be “back” so bad and they are getting there, I admit it. But they know and I know, that unless they beat OSU, they are not back. I have faith in this Cowboy team to keep the good vibes going and get to double digits in the series and though it might be just a 10-24 record against them then, I remember when it was much worse.
Jordan Bishop is the assistant news editor for the Stillwater News Press and can be reached at email@example.com.