OSU and Texas Tech traveled similar paths to reach tonight’s showdown:
→Both left marginal leagues (OSU the Missouri Valley; Tech the Border Association) and joined major conferences in 1960.
→Neither has so much as won an outright conference title since.
→Both tied for a league title in 1976. OSU tied Colorado and Oklahoma for the Big Eight championship, but Colorado won the tiebreaker and went to the Orange Bowl. The Pokes settled for the Tangerine Bowl.
→That same autumn, Tech tied Houston for the Southwest Conference title. But the Cougars beat Tech straight up and went to the Cotton Bowl. The Red Raiders settled for the Bluebonnet Bowl.
→Both have had their moments over the last 30 years, but both have slipped into mediocrity. Tech had seven straight losing seasons, 1979-85; OSU had eight straight (1989-96).
→Both own renovated stadiums so plush that locals are hard-pressed to believe they are not mirages.
→Both used spread offenses to stage their current revivals.
→Both are in contention because of improved defenses after years of allowing massive points and yards.
By Berry Tramel