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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys ride the high road on the BCS

COMMENTARY — Unlike other teams slighted by the BCS — Boise State — the Oklahoma State Cowboys haven't railed against the system. They haven't allowed their disappointment to turn into bitterness.
BY JENNI CARLSON Modified: December 9, 2011 at 8:13 pm •  Published: December 9, 2011

It's been nearly a week since Oklahoma State found itself left out of the national championship game by mere thousandths of a point.

And the bitterness continues.

Just not from the Cowboys.

Even though OSU fans are still riled up about the whole thing — click on a message board or a comment section, and the anti-BCS, anti-Alabama, anti-ESPN venom is obvious — the Cowboys themselves have taken a different path.

The high road.

From those disappointing moments after the final BCS ranking were announced until now, the Cowboys have been nothing but gracious. They've never bashed the BCS. They've never cried foul. They've even, of all things, praised this whack-a-doo system.

“We ... believe in the system,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said Sunday evening on ESPN only moments after the final rankings were announced. “For whatever reason, we came up a little bit short.”

The BCS hater in me wishes every coach would bash the system every chance he got.

But in truth, the Cowboys have done themselves good by taking the high road.

It started even before Gundy's post-selection comments. When Reece Davis revealed that OSU was No. 3, the players gathered to watch ESPN's selection show didn't groan. Didn't object. Didn't holler.

There was only silence.

Now, I'm not saying there wasn't a message in their silence. This is a program going to its first ever BCS bowl. This is a team that has reached never-before-seen heights. Finishing third in the BCS and going to the Fiesta Bowl is worth celebrating.

The fact that the Cowboys sat silently was a sign of their disappointment.

A classy sign.

The Cowboys have never evoked the tragic events of the day of the Iowa State loss either. The plane crash that killed OSU women's basketball coaches Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna weighed on the football team. No two ways around that. Many football players regularly attend women's basketball games, so they knew the coaches. Many are also close with the women's basketball players, so at the very least, they were concerned about their friends.

The Cowboys had to feel added pressure to beat the Cyclones, not just to keep their national title hopes alive but to give the Cowboy Nation something to feel good about, even if for a moment on that horrible day.

Still, neither a coach nor a player has ever played that card.

Another classy sign.

That modus operandi has continued in these days after the BCS announcement. There have been no outrageous tweets from players, no crazy statements from coaches.

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