STILLWATER — Brandon Weeden always referred to the 2010 Texas A&M game as the launching point to the Cowboys' school-record 11-win season.
And by all accounts, it was a moment that melded Oklahoma State's emerging talent with confidence and legitimate swagger.
To Weeden, the latest takedown of A&M – Saturday's 30-29, higher-stakes conquest at Kyle Field – sets up similarly.
“I gotta think it's going to propel us, just like it did last year,” Weeden said. “You don't want to count your chickens before they hatch. But we've got so many mature guys.
“It's a great win for our program.”
Considering the circumstances, another launch could send the Cowboys to new heights.
A year ago, beating the Aggies propelled OSU into the Top 25.
This time, the Cowboys surged into the top five, garnering widespread national pub that extends from individual players to national title talk.
Time will eventually weigh in on the ultimate significance of Saturday. But most agree, the Cowboys looked good, true contender good. And a rugged road schedule that once looked daunting now sizes up as much more manageable, with the most difficult checkpoint cleared.
Not only did OSU prevail in a showdown of top-10 teams, it did so against a team that made no bones about zeroing in on the matchup since the summer. And a team that apparently harbored a grudge, claiming the Cowboys ran up the score in 2009.
It's an experience the Pokes can pocket and pull out whenever times get tough again in this season. And a team bent on breaking from the Big 12 to the SEC in a big way.
Weeden called the win the best of his career, which does feature a 15-2 record as a starter. Cowboys coach Mike Gundy called it the most satisfying of a head coaching gig already boasting significant milestones.