“I don't remember even seeing any OU fans,” Weeden said. “I may have. I wasn't really worried about it.”
That doesn't mean Weeden wasn't completely aware that the Fiesta Bowl was going on. Signs were plastered all over town. It was the main event. That helped spark the conversation between him and Reynolds, and served as motivation.
Since playing in the Insight Bowl, the Cowboys have climbed up the bowl pecking order, earning berths in the Holiday, Cotton and Alamo Bowls the next three seasons. Then came the 2011 campaign, where OSU went 11-1, won its first outright conference championship and earned an automatic spot in the BCS.
“Not to take anything away from what we were able to do in '07 to go to a bowl game,” Weeden said. “(Now) we expect to win a lot of games and we expect to go to bowl games and we expect to go to big-time bowl games.”
OSU's convincing 44-10 Bedlam victory over OU last week was also a big factor in the Sooners' tumble to the Insight Bowl. But, just like 2007, Weeden does not expect much interaction with OU players or fans while the two teams are in Phoenix.
Weeden does acknowledge, however, that the bowl role reversal this season is just another example of how far his 2007 class, and the OSU program as a whole, has come.
“It's interesting just to think where this program has kind of taken itself to,” Weeden said. “Obviously, Oklahoma's been traditionally a very good program forever. To put ourselves in that same category this season, as a player, that's pretty special.”