Brandon Weeden recalls the celebration scene, one that Oklahoma State insiders still proclaim as the richest of the Mike Gundy era.
“I remember celebrating with Boone (Pickens) in the locker room afterward,” Weeden said. “It was unbelievable. I think he got pretty fired up about it.”
Details? A Gundy-esque dance strut?
“A lot of Gatorade being thrown everywhere,” Weeden said, not giving away too much. “Boone was excited about it. He was right in the middle of everything.”
That was Columbia, Missouri 2008 – a significant fork in the road leading to the Cowboys' current stout status at No. 4 in the BCS Standings. OSU hadn't yet won any landmark games, especially on the road, yet shocked the No. 3 Tigers 28-23 that night on national TV to punctuate a 6-0 season start and elevate its football brand.
In retrospect, that breakthrough signaled OSU's rise as much as any as a signature win delivering believability not only across the country, but inside the Cowboys locker room. Fast forwarding back to today, the Pokes' spurs are well-earned and shiny, polished on victories claimed at once-dreaded locales like Austin and College Station and Lubbock; victories built on a tough win at Mizzou, where they pulled off clutch plays on offense and defense.
“Yeah, I think it was the starting point for us,” said Weeden, a deep reserve on that team. “It just gradually went from there.”
Now it's back to Columbia, that stepping out point, which in 2011 stands as perhaps the final major hurdle in the can't-get-here-quick-enough charge to Bedlam Bonanza.
The Tigers have been somewhat of an enigma, at 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12. They blitzed Iowa State 52-17 Saturday and played tough in a loss at Oklahoma, but also not so tough in losses to Kansas State and Arizona State.