STILLWATER — Perhaps the biggest victory in 123 years of Northwestern football came on opening day 1995. The Wildcats went to South Bend and upset Notre Dame 17-15.
Northwestern, without a winning season in 24 years, went on to a glorious year. A 10-1 record, won the Big Ten and played Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl. But in Week 2, Northwestern lost at home to Miami-Ohio. In 2005, Texas Christian opened the season with a stunning upset of Oklahoma in Norman. Those Horned Frogs had a fabulous season: 11-1 record and No. 9 in the coaches’ poll. But in Week 2, TCU lost to SMU. Let those be lessons to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. A week of euphoria ends today when OSU hosts Houston. In the last seven days, OSU has dedicated a glittering stadium, knocked off Georgia 24-10 in one of the biggest games in Payne County history, rose to No. 5 in the AP poll and landed back on the Sports Illustrated cover. Not a bad week’s work. But it all goes for naught if OSU doesn’t take care of business today against Houston, no powerhouse but a far step up from SMU. "This is a trap game on paper,” admitted OSU offensive coordinator Gunner Brewer. The primary job of the Cowboy coaches this week was not strategic. It was psychological. Can they get their players to descend from the clouds? Mike Gundy on Monday still was talking about the revelry around town after the momentous weekend, and then came the AP/SI flurry mid-week. But "you’ve got to let it go,” Gundy said. The staff had a plan for just that. Show the defense tapes of the 2008 Houston game, in which the Cougars led at halftime before falling 56-37.