Oklahoma State football: Cowboys are in good shape as long as they keep winning

OSU is four wins shy of becoming bowl eligible. But a challenging Big 12 schedule is dead ahead.
by John Helsley Published: October 7, 2012
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photo - CELEBRATION: Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the University of Texas (UT) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
CELEBRATION: Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart (5) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the University of Texas (UT) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Bowl eligible.

Now those are some words that haven't been uttered around Oklahoma State in a while.

Haven't really been relevant, with the Cowboys posting double-digit win totals and chasing championships of late.

Until now?

At 2-2, the Cowboys require four more wins to reach bowl-eligible status. It's reasonable to assume they'll get there — they've made six straight bowl appearances and employ a roster heavy with postseason experience — yet reaching the minimum of six wins is no gimme.

Not after taking two early hits: an upset loss at Arizona and a home setback to Texas, the program's first loss at Boone Pickens Stadium since 2010.

And not with a leaky defense needing an in-season overhaul in a league with overwhelming offenses.

No more rest for the bleary, either, with both bye weeks already in the books.

Ah, but there is some good news.

Coming up: a trip to Kansas this Saturday, followed by visits from Iowa State and TCU.

Clearly, it's feel better — and do better — time for the Cowboys.

The stumbling Jayhawks are 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12, outscored 76-22 so far in league losses to TCU and Kansas State. Iowa State remains offensively challenged, having split a pair of conference games, losing to Texas Tech and beating TCU, which suddenly has a quarterback quandary with starter Casey Pachall suspended indefinitely after an arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

So this three-week stretch offers opportunity to find some traction and momentum.

Demands it, even, if the Cowboys want to avoid the drama and questions about simple bowl eligibility and re-engage talks about their ability to contend in the Big 12 and stay in play for trips to sunnier and more satisfying December/January destinations.

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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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