OSU rejoined the Big 12 title chase Wednesday night.
It wasn’t artistic, yet the Cowboys 69-67 overtime edging of Baylor pushed them to 6-3 in the conference race, one game behind 7-2 Kansas and Kansas State – two teams that still must visit Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Don’t look now – actually, do look now – the Cowboys have won four straight Big 12 games for the first time since Travis Ford’s debut season in 2008-09. OSU never won back-to-back Big 12 games a year ago and didn’t do better than two-straight in 2010-11. The Cowboys failed to make the NCAA Tournament in those two seasons, if you’re looking for a correlation.
Right now, OSU is firmly in the field, with an RPI of 28 and a very real opportunity to stretch this streak, considering it’s got road games at Texas and Texas Tech coming up Saturday and Wednesday, followed by Bedlam in Stillwater.
Of the Big 12′s other top five teams, the Cowboys have already been on the road to play four: K-State, KU, OU and Baylor. And along with the Jayhawks and Wildcats, they also get a visit from the Sooners.
OSU’s toughest remaining road game: at Iowa State, March 6. And with the toughest trips out of the way, there’s damage to be done at Texas, Tech, West Virginia and TCU.
If the Cowboys contended with a “Kansas hangover” against Baylor, what do you call what happened to the Jayhawks at TCU?
Maybe the most stunning upset in the history of the Big 12, KU lost to a bad TCU squad that has been battered both by injuries and every other team in the league, entering the night winless in conference play.
KU’s loss to the Cowboys revealed some vulnerabilities and raised the possibility that the Jayhawks stranglehold on the league title – which they’ve owned for eight seasons – might not be so strong in 2013 afterall.
KU’s loss to the Horned Frogs put the trophy up for grabs, and within the Cowboys’ grasp.