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Cowboys made the right move in going to the spread offense
Insight Bowl foes liken OSU to top echelon of Big 10 offensive powers

By John Helsey Modified: January 1, 2008 at 12:25 am •  Published: January 1, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. — All in favor of backing an Oklahoma State petition for entry into the Big Ten say, "Aye!”

While shouts and cheers may fill the air in Stillwater, expect heavy opposition from Midwestern locales.

So it took the Cowboys 77 years to chalk up their second win over a Big Ten foe. Here's saying it would take about 19 minutes — all the time OSU needed to bolt to a 28-3 lead Monday night – for the Cowboys to distance themselves from a bunch of Big Ten squads.

OSU hadn't beaten a team from the Big Ten since 1930 — a win at Iowa. Before Monday night, the Cowboys were 1-8-1 all-time against the power conference.

But in this day of spread and speed, the Big Ten lags because it's a power conference — power in style.

The Pokes have caught and passed much of the Big Ten when it comes to offensive football.

OSU made it look easy in a 49-33 Insight Bowl rout of Indiana, which admittedly hadn't seen anything like the offensive show OSU displayed in Sun Devil Stadium.

Not in the Big Ten.

"I think it pretty much was the speed,” Indiana defensive end Greg Middleton said. "They were fast, to me. We went up against some teams earlier this year that were fast, but I think that's the fastest team we've gone against all year.

"We tried. We worked hard to get prepared for them. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough.”

When asked who the Cowboys might compare to in the Big Ten, Middleton went all the way to the top.

"If anybody, I'd have to say Ohio State, just because of the speed,” Middleton said. "We haven't really gone against anybody this year who's like them.”

Hoosiers safety Nick Polk offered a different team, yet one no less impressive.

"I think they're more like Illinois,” Polk said of the Rose Bowl-bound Illini. "And we had trouble with them as well.”

Illinois is actually the first Big Ten team making a move toward modern football, having hired spread-proponent Ron Zook.

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