STILLWATER — Long before the final horn sounded, students perched on the wall that surrounds the Boone Pickens Stadium turf.
Waiting to celebrate a Bedlam beatdown.
Waiting to revel in an outright Big 12 title.
Waiting to rejoice over a BCS bowl.
On a night when the field was stormed and the goal posts were felled, the waiting is over for Oklahoma State.
OSU 44, OU 10.
“You couldn't dream of anything like this,” Cowboy linebacker Shaun Lewis said. “Everything was just flowing for us. The vibe was there.
“It was a special night.”
It sure was.
The weather was marvelous; no Ice Bowl cometh. The house was packed. And the team in orange was best of all.
The Cowboys left nothing to fate or chance or magic. They didn't need a last-second kick or a late-game onsides. They didn't need trickery. They didn't need to worry about Poke Choke or Squinky or any of the other boogie men that have haunted the Cowboys.
They came out and popped the Sooners in the mouth.
Then, they just kept punching.
“We didn't just beat 'em,” Cowboy defensive end Jamie Blatnick said. “We beat 'em good.”
The Sooners came out woofing, running onto the field and going to the far end zone to pray like always but lingering a little too long. They were waiting for the Cowboys to come out, and OU coaches had to retrieve them.
Turned out, their bark was much bigger than their bite.
OU punted or turned over the ball on its first seven possessions. On its first seven, OSU scored 24 points.
The rout wasn't on, but you could feel it coming.
Bob Stoops stood on the sidelines much of the night with a stunned look on his face. The man who makes nearly $5 million a year had no answers.
The offense had no pop. The defense had no fight. OU was a team in shambles.
“We knew that we had to dominate them,” Blatnick said, “to get a shot back at getting in the national championship.”
Ah, yes, the BCS national championship game. When Saturday dawned, the college football world assumed that LSU and Alabama were destined for the Big Bowl. Thing is, no one expected the Cowboys to throttle the Sooners.
Now, who wouldn't want to see LSU vs. OSU?
Miles vs. Gundy?
Geaux Tigers vs. Orange Power?
But regardless of happens Sunday night when the bowl selections are announced, nothing can take away from what happened Saturday night.
Oh, the splendor of it all.
“It's phenomenal,” said Cowboy defensive coordinator Bill Young, an OSU alum who has been a Cowboy assistant in three different decades. “I've been a part of two co-champions. It's really nice to win it outright and to beat a really, really good Oklahoma football team.
“That's really a thrill.”
Maybe the fans would've poured onto the field by the thousands regardless of who the Cowboys had dismantled, but you can be sure that breaking an eight-game Bedlam losing streak didn't hurt.
They stormed to the middle of the field and merged into one gigantic mosh pit with the players. They headed to the west end zone next, climbing on the goal posts, rocking them back and forth before finally bringing them down. They turned their attention to the east end zone next, bringing down those goal posts much faster.
“I might've helped them a little bit,” Cowboy running back Joe Randle joked.
Blatnick said, “It was pretty chaotic at first. I kind of got a little nervous, but everyone's so happy. It was just a great atmosphere.”
Great night. Great victory. Great champion.
The waiting is over, Cowboys.