COLUMBIA, Mo. — The cheers from the packed orange-clad corner of Faurot Field echoed around the old-timey stadium like golf balls on concrete.
That's because there were tens of Tiger fans left by the time Oklahoma State was done with Missouri on Saturday.
OSU 45, Mizzou 24.
Hey, wasn't this supposed to be a close game?
Go ahead and pick against the Cowboys, Lou Holtz. Feel free to put OSU on upset alert, College GameDay. Doubt this team all you want, pundits and prognosticators.
You do so at your own peril.
For the second time in less than a month, OSU defended the Big 12's honor and smacked down a squad making googly eyes at the SEC. First, it went Texas A&M and beat back the Aggies. This time around, it went to Missouri and won a few days before everyone expects the Tigers to announce their departure.
On an afternoon when OSU dismantled Missouri and gave the Tigers an unceremonial shove toward the door marked SEC, the Cowboys served notice that it's time everyone comes to grips with one unmistakable fact — this is a really good team.
“There's always going to be questions,” Cowboy defense end Jamie Blatnick said. “There's always going to be doubt.”
Why would anyone in their right mind question whether these Cowboys are a stout squad deserving of their No. 4 ranking in the BCS? Why would you look at their body of work through seven games this season and decide that it's all a facade? Why would you watch them destroy the Tigers, yet another upset-minded opponent that fell woefully short, and not come to the conclusion that these Cowboys are going to be in the mix at the end of the regular season?
“You've got to have people that like you, and you've got to have people that don't or it'd be no fun,” said Cowboy running back Joseph Randle, who scored a whopping four touchdowns Saturday. “If everybody likes you, it's boring.”
“It really is.”
OSU must be the least-bored team in the country, then, because it has no shortage of haters.
Count me on the opposite side. This team has the talent, chemistry and attitude to beat anyone. Now, I'm not here to pick a Bedlam winner today, but if OSU isn't undefeated when OU comes to town on Dec. 3, I'll eat my stilettos.
The Cowboys have faced three of the best teams in the Big 12 on the road. At the beginning of the season, everyone considered it a brutal hand for OSU to be dealt, a three-game gauntlet against Texas A&M, Texas and Missouri that could very well derail the Cowboys' championship hopes.