STILLWATER — These days, Mike Gundy’s phone rings with recruits calling from all across the country showing interest in Oklahoma State. And he knows why. "People kind of always knew who we were in Kansas, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma,” Gundy said. "But now, we get calls from (recruits in) Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana. "It’s all because of the TV coverage. The prime time 7 p.m. and 2:30 games. Why else would it change? That’s got to be why.” OSU will close the season with six straight televised games, all in the most prominent TV time slots, 2:30 or 7 p.m., culminating with the 7 p.m. Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30 on ESPN (Cox 29). Gundy knows you can’t put a value on television appearances, especially in recruiting. And the Cowboys are branching out like never before. Six states are represented among OSU’s 16 commitments for the 2009 class. And the Cowboys have recruiting targets in several other states. OSU has struggled in the past to gain national television exposure, as was evident on Oct. 18. That day, the Cowboys were No. 8 in The Associated Press poll, but hosted Baylor in a game that wasn’t televised. A week later, the TV world came to its senses and got the Pokes on the tube, and they finished the season with five straight appearances on ABC. The Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl will make for a fourth straight prime-time TV slot. It’s quite a turnaround from the beginning of the season, when only two of OSU’s first five games were televised at all — and one of them was on Fox College Sports, a channel beamed to only about 10 million homes in the country. It’s nothing new. In 2005, only three games were televised, one of which was a Thursday night game at Florida Atlantic. A year later, two of OSU’s first seven games were televised: one by ESPNU and the other by CSTV, both of which are subscriber-based channels on most carriers. The ’06 Cowboys didn’t appear on basic cable or network television until Oct. 28. Even last year, the Cowboys weren’t given much of a break in the bowl game, when they landed in the Insight Bowl, which was available to less than 40 million homes on the NFL Network. This bowl season, the Cowboys are in a much better situation. The Holiday Bowl is one of two games in prime time Dec. 30. The other is the Texas Bowl on the NFL Network. So OSU-Oregon will be the only game on TV for many college football fans. And recruits.
Oklahoma State vs. Oregon →When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30 →Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego →TV: ESPN (Cox 29) OSU blog
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BreakdownOSU on TV
Here’s a breakdown of OSU’s television appearances the last six seasons:
By year2008: 9* 2007: 10 2006: 7 2005: 3 2004: 9 2003: 10
By networkABC: 17 FSN: 12 ESPN2: 4 ESPN: 3* Pay-per-view: 3 TBS: 2 FOX: 1 ESPNU: 1 CSTV: 1 FCS: 1 NFL Network: 1 *including Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl