STILLWATER — Mike Gundy had a message for his Oklahoma State players Sunday night, when the Cowboys moved up to No. 2 in the Bowl Championship Series standings.
“You brought this on yourself,” Gundy said. “You created this monster by being a good football team. You're good players and you've done the right thing and you've won games.”
The No. 2 ranking is the highest ever for OSU (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) and puts the Cowboys in position to play in the national championship game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans. OSU's remaining schedule includes back-to-back road contests at Texas Tech and Iowa State and a home showdown against No. 6 Oklahoma on Dec. 3.
Gundy admitted that he has felt the pressure rise during the Cowboys' ascent in the BCS standings over the last couple weeks, but said he'd rather be in this position than coaching a struggling football team.
“It's certainly a good situation to be in,” Gundy said. “There's no more pressure put on us than (what comes from) within our program.”
Here's what else Gundy said during Monday's press conference.
On Texas Tech's up-and-down season:
“It's hard to say what goes through these guys' minds and causes them to perform at a really high level or not perform at a level as high as they would want to. They have the capability of moving the ball, scoring fast and scoring quite a few points. And then defensively, there have been times where they've played really good. As far as how or why the roller-coaster (season has happened), I can't explain that.”
On the lack of penalties since the Texas A&M game:
“I'm impressed with our team in that area as much as anything, because we were poor in the A&M game. We just about took ourselves out of the game with penalties. Fortunately, we were able to get it rolling in the second half. Since that point, we've stressed the importance of not giving away free yards. At times, there's going to be some penalties, but what we went through at A&M is not acceptable. So we approached our team with that, we discussed it and they bought into that. Our players have done a good job with that and made better decisions. Obviously, all those things tie into being a disciplined football team.”
On kicking off at 11 a.m. for the second time this season:
“I would prefer to play all day games. Television, at times, has a different way of looking at that. I think the players enjoy playing during the day. You wake up early on game day, and your mind kind of starts spinning and it's going to stay that way until you kick it off. We enjoy getting out there and playing earlier in the day.”