OSU football: Biggest wins in history
I called the OSU comeback against Texas A&M the biggest win in O-State history. I had quite a bit in that arsenal.
* Just the ninth top-10 matchup in Cowboy history, and just the second win. Those ninth-ranked Cowboys beat No. 7 South Carolina 21-14 in the 1984 Gator Bowl; that was the Barry Hanna game, the 25-yard Rusty Hilger-to-Hanna touchdown pass with 1:04 left.
* The stage. The biggest game of the college football schedule on Saturday, with the winner advancing on in the Big 12 and national title race.
* The circumstances. With Texas A&M headed out the door to the SEC, and the game coming just two days after the Cowboys committed to stay in the Big 12, conference pride was heavy. State staked a claim for keeping its league strong.
* The plot. Down 20-3 at halftime, Kyle Field going crazy, OSU looking not so inept but powerless to do anything about it. And the Cowboys come out swinging in a third quarter that ranked as the best single period in OSU history, until Justin Blackmon’s inexplicable fumble.
Of course, the emotional response is that a Bedlam victory could be No. 1. In the Kyle Field bowels Saturday night, Mike Gundy threw out the 2002 game as really satisfying. That was the 38-28 game in which OSU led 35-6. The Cowboys came into that game 6-5 and unranked; the Sooners were out of the national title race but already had secured the South Division title. That game signaled OSU’s rise out of the ashes.
The 2001 Bedlam victory was perhaps the most memorable game — a 3-7 OSU team beat OU 16-13, keeping the Sooners out of the national championship game in the Rose Bowl and infusing the program with much-needed hope. Many say Boone Pickens got interested in the program because of that victory. And you know what that has meant.
I would say the 1976 Bedlam victory was OSU’s biggest against OU. It was the Cowboys’ first Bedlam victory against a Bud Wilkinson or Barry Switzer team. When OSU won in 1965 and 1966, the Sooners were mediocre. Not so in 1976; before that game, Switzer had lost once in 31/2 years as the OU coach. But beating OSU propelled the Cowboys to a Big Eight tri-championship, which remains their only league title.
Those early Pat Jones victories in September were big, too. Jones’ first game was a 45-3 rout of Arizona State at Tempe, Ariz., when the Sun Devils were a top-10 team. That was a great launch for the Jones era. The next year, the Cowboys did the same to highly-regarded Washington, winning 31-17 in Seattle.
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