Over the past few years, it would have been hard to be a college football fan in America and overlook the exploits of Oklahoma State.
Consecutive bowl appearances, several weeks in the national Top 10 and multiple individual award winners have helped the Cowboys make their mark on the national landscape.
OSU has made 22 television appearances in the past two seasons as the Pokes have become an exciting option for television networks.
Schedule changes for the 2011 season are further proof of the national interest in the Cowboys. The Iowa State game was moved to Friday, Nov. 18 to become a featured game on ESPN while Bedlam was moved to Dec. 3 to become a featured game on Championship Saturday to give the Big 12 a footprint while other conferences hold their championship games.
Neither move would have occurred without the rise of the Pokes.
The added television time should pay off in the future for OSU — both athletically and academically — as each appearance acts as an free advertisement for the school.
“You probably couldn’t put a dollar value on it,” athletic director Mike Holder said. “It’s priceless. You couldn’t afford to buy the commercial time.”
But for Holder and OSU, television appearances are only a piece of the puzzle.
“The best advertisment we’ve got is to graduate our student athletes, play by the rules and be good sports and the last piece of the puzzle is winning,” Holder said. “But the winning part loses all significance if one of the other three is not there.”