STILLWATER â€” This is what Oklahoma State football fans, those hearty few who dared to embrace such a once-unpopular cause, have been waiting for.
The crowd that chose the road less traveled. Mike Holder and Robert Allen. Scott Verplank and Bob Tway. The old-timers who remember Tony Pounds and still go to wrestling matches. Doc Cooper and Pat Quinn. The ranchers in Roger Mills County and the educators in Ponca City. The business professionals who for decades have listened to digs from OU counterparts who won't even dignify the rivalry by uttering the word â€œBedlam.â€
All those who have waited not for a stirring upset of the Sooners, or to batter a beat-down Gomer Jones or John Blake team, but those who dreamed of heroes standing toe-to-toe with a worthy Oklahoma team. Dreamed not of spoiling a Sooner championship, but of winning one themselves.
Generations of dreams, years of hard work and Boone Pickens' donations have brought us to today. Have brought us to this.
With a football team every bit as good as the Sooners', and with a Big 12 South title on the line, OSU hosts OU.
Maybe once in 60 years have we seen this. Back in 1984, the Cowboys were every bit as good as the Sooners, and they played Thanksgiving Saturday for an Orange Bowl berth. But that game was at Owen Field, and OU prevailed 24-14.
This game is at Boone Pickens. Advantage, Cowboys.
OSU has all it could ever hope for. Mammoth stakes. An equal team. Home field.