The final USA Today Coaches poll is significant. Not just because it factors into the final BCS standings, but because those ballots are made public.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy caught some outside heat Sunday when his final rankings had his Cowboys ranked 10th and Oklahoma 12th, despite the Sooners' 33-24 Bedlam victory Saturday combined with the fact that OSU and OU had identical overall and conference records.
Gundy said Sunday evening that when filling out his ballot, he puts an emphasis on point differential in games played against bowl eligible teams.
“I just try to take into account the season in general and not one or two games and come up with the best formula that I think works,” Gundy said.
This was the first season Gundy has voted in the coaches poll since 2005.
COACHES CATCHING UP ON RECRUITING TRAIL
With the late Bedlam date cutting into a week of recruiting, Cowboy coaches were already on the road Sunday morning to visit prospects.
That left virtually no time for the heartbreaking loss to the Sooners to linger.
“Unfortunately for us, life goes on the next morning,” Gundy said following the game. “We've already missed one week of recruiting. We've got to get our butts out on the road and continue to bring quality people in here.”
GUNDY ON FINAL BEDLAM PLAY: ‘WE PRACTICED IT'
OSU's final play of Bedlam looked typical for a team desperately trying to score as the clock runs out, with a series of laterals eventually leading to an OU fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Even though the action might seem like chaos to outsiders, Gundy said the Cowboys actually practice those types of plays “all the time.”
“Those plays are a little better when you cross the 50,” Gundy said, “or 40ish to 50ish-(yard line), you can do the Hail Mary. But when you're that far back, you kind of rally to (the ball). We practiced it. We just missed that one lateral.”
QB COMMIT RUDOLPH ACCOUNTS FOR 9 TOUCHDOWNS IN STATE TITLE GAME
Oklahoma State quarterback commitment Mason Rudolph, who has been rolling throughout his senior season at Northwestern High in Rock Hill, S.C., capped his career with his best performance yet in the Class 4A Division II state championship game.
Rudolph, a pocket passer running the same Air Raid spread system that Dana Holgorsen installed at OSU in 2010, set a state single-game record with 38 completions on 54 attempts for 483 yards and eight touchdowns (a record for state championship games) in the 62-35 Northwestern win. He also recorded a rushing touchdown when he fumbled inside the end zone and pounced on the football.
Rudolph is scheduled to enroll at OSU in January, where he is expected to compete right away for the starting job with J.W. Walsh, Daxx Garman and others.