As the Sooners absorbed a wild Bedlam series loss to the Cowboys, a frustrated Sunny Golloway said that his guys could only hope to see OSU again in the Big 12 Tournament.
“Hopefully, God's gonna allow us to play them in the Big 12 Tournament,” Golloway said at the time.
The title game, perhaps?
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are together again as true contenders in the 2011 event, which opens Wednesday with first-round games at RedHawks Field at Bricktown.
That's good for them and good for the tournament, which has dealt with the absence of the Cowboys the past two years.
Big 12 regular-season co-champions Texas and Texas A&M are the favorites, yet parity has marked this season in the league, with the Longhorns and Aggies each suffering eight conference losses. The Sooners finished third and the Cowboys fourth, separated by one-half game in the standings.
OU, at 40-15, ranks as high as No. 7 nationally and appears in the top 20 of all four major polls.
OSU, 34-21, just fell out of the rankings after losing series in the regular season's final two weekends. Still, they've proven capable, owning weekend series wins over the Longhorns, Sooners and others.
More importantly for the Cowboys, they're back in the tournament after failing to qualify in 2009 and 2010.
“My freshman and sophomore year we didn't make it,” said OSU junior third baseman Mark Ginther, “so this is my first time. This is more of what I signed up for.
“I'm going to enjoy it and hopefully get some victories.”
Joy for OSU's return doesn't stop with those in orange and black. The All Sports Association, the host and supporter of the event, welcomes the Cowboys back into the bracket.
“It's a hallelujah for sure,” said All Sports executive director Tim Brassfield. “One, they have such a rich history and heritage with the tournament. It seems like it's a tournament missing a fourth wheel when Oklahoma State is not here. We're sure glad they're back.