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Cowboys remain calm in unchartered territory

BY GINA MIZELL Published: October 23, 2011

STILLWATER — When asked if Oklahoma State deserved more national respect following a 45-24 victory at Missouri on Saturday, Mike Gundy said he really does not mind the opposite treatment.

“I just assume kind of just lay low as much as we can,” Gundy said.

That won't exactly be possible anymore.

OSU only jumped one spot in the BCS standings Sunday, but the No. 3 Cowboys (7-0 overall, 4-0 Big 12) made a gigantic leap in the national title picture.

That's what happens when two unbeaten, top-10 teams go down later Saturday night, including Oklahoma. That's what happens when OSU becomes the squad sitting right behind the two big dogs from the SEC, LSU and Alabama, ready to slide into the No. 2 spot after those two teams play each other in two weeks.

How will the Pokes respond? Well, we really don't know, because OSU has never been ranked this high in the BCS standings in program history.

OSU and Clemson are the newcomers in a group of schools with plenty of BCS experience. LSU and Alabama have captured national titles in the past decade, and Oregon and OU have played in at least one championship game. Stanford and Arkansas played in a BCS bowl last season, and Boise State and Kansas State have done the same in previous years.

This is new territory for the Cowboys. But there's already evidence to suggest they are equipped to handle the pressure that comes with their newfound status.

OSU came back from 17 points down at halftime to win in College Station in a matchup of top-10 teams. It became the first squad in 100 years to win back-to-back games in Austin. It handily defeated Missouri on the road in a game that many experts thought would be an upset.

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