STILLWATER – The Big Bowl seems to want defense. Seems to want people who pop you in the mouth and take your lunch money and won't let you in the end zone even under threat of martial law.
Hey, voters. If that's what you want, you don't have to endorse LSU-Alabama anymore.
On the biggest stage in OSU football history, the Cowboys did more than win the school's first outright conference championship. Did more than send their long-dreaming fans screaming onto the field in glee. Did more than complete a Mike Gundy/Boone Pickens dream. Did more than dump a truckload of doubt onto their arch-rivals' organization.
In a 44-10 Bedlam smackdown Saturday night, the Cowboys announced they are Big Bowl worthy. And they did it not with Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon and that video-game offense.
Bill Young's boys made the case for New Orleans. OSU's defense put the clamps on Landry Jones and the Sooner offense, producing five takeaways, giving up no meaningful points and getting all stingy on yardage, if that kind of thing appeals to you.
OU's points came on a 48-yard field goal that glanced off the upright and a garbage-time touchdown, Blake Bell's 28-yard run, with 2:25 left in the game and only 10 Cowboys on the field.
Gundy had told his defense this was its chance to shine, and the Cowboys went supernova.
“No question they showed up in a big way,” Gundy said.
And Gundy, who during the week declined to play the campaign game, came out with double-barreled endorsements for his Cowboys.
“I don't think there's any question Oklahoma State should be in the big game,” Gundy said.
Why should voters choose OSU over Alabama?
“We lost in double overtime on the road,” Gundy said. “We didn't lose at home. They had their shot. Give us ours.”
The Cowboys at least made Sunday interesting. Analysts said there was no way third-ranked OSU could jump Bama in the BCS rankings, which will be released at 7:15 p.m.
But those analysts are waffling.
“I'd think any voter who woke up this morning willing to be swayed by today's results, will be swayed,” said ESPN's Brad Edwards, a BCS guru. Edwards estimated that OSU would need 45 of 174 voters (combined coaches and Harris polls) to put the Cowboys ahead of Alabama.
On the Twitter world, dignitaries ranging from Dick Vitale to Skip Bayless to Cowboy alums Barry Sanders and Rickie Fowler rang the bell for State.