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OSU football: Missouri is one of this season's surprises in college football

The Tigers, who lost to Auburn on Saturday in the SEC championship game, were picked to finish sixth in their division.
by John Helsley Published: December 8, 2013

Oklahoma State and Missouri realistically dreamed of conference championships and BCS bowl berths Saturday.

With those bubbles burst, Sunday instead brought the former conference rivals together.

The Cowboys and Tigers — once common Big Eight and Big 12 foes — will meet again, this time in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 3.

While the stakes aren't as high as either would have liked, this 53rd meeting between the schools still shapes up as the biggest yet.

And solid storylines abound.

* There's an updated take on Mizzou's bolt to the SEC.

* There's the history between the two, which reveals a 29-23-0 series lead for the Tigers, but also Mike Gundy's 3-1 record as head coach against Mizzou. And this from the “Did You Know” file: in their last meeting, a 45-24 Cowboys win in Columbia in 2011, the Tigers featured current stars James Franklin and Henry Josey at quarterback and running back.

* And there's the significant Okie influence with these Tigers, from key defenders Kentrell Brothers of Guthrie and Edmond Santa Fe's Randy Ponder, to former Cowboys Josh Henson and Cooper Bassett on the coaching staff.

So there's a familiarity with these Tigers.

But are they the same old Tigers?

And that's yet another intriguing storyline.

“They've won on the road, they're moving the ball and scoring points,” Gundy said Sunday. “They run to the football.

“I know they have a couple guys that enjoy rushing the passer and linebackers that run and tackle … (to be in position to win the SEC title in their second year), it says a lot about their position and how they've grown up.”

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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