Oklahoma State football: The night it all changed for the OSU Cowboys

OKLAHOMA STATE — It's the night it all began for the Oklahoma State football program you see today. But Brandon Weeden thought Nov. 24, 2001, was the last night of his football career. A look back at what that night and 16-13 mean today to both.
by John Helsley Published: November 30, 2011

Mike Gundy knows one Bedlam score like no other.

16-13.

And Gundy is hardly alone, with 16-13 the most common reference point for Cowboys fans recalling the win that launched Oklahoma State's rise to BCS relevance.

For the record, the year was 2001, making Saturday's next Bedlam clash a 10-year anniversary of sorts.

For some fascinating synergy, Brandon Weeden thought the night of 16-13 would be the last time he'd ever strip away football gear.

Now Weeden directs OSU's bid to complete the course begun at 16-13, with his final regular season game as a Cowboy colliding with yet another program crossroad where a Big 12 championship and BCS bowl bid wait on the other side.

“It's kind of a surreal deal,” Weeden said. “I sat back last week and thought, ‘I have eight quarters to play at Oklahoma State.' You put that in perspective and that's not very much football.

“So I'm going to savor all eight quarters, really just enjoy it, spend time with teammates and leave it all out there.”

Weeden thought he'd left football behind for good on that November night in 2001, as he quarterbacked Edmond Santa Fe's failed upset bid of undefeated Jenks in the Class 6A semifinals on what was then Lewis Field.

Santa Fe fell 35-21, yet it had been a storybook ride for Weeden and the Wolves. Unranked before knocking off top-five teams Midwest City and Moore to advance to the semifinals, Santa Fe was making its first playoff appearance in Class 6A.

So there memories were made. And Weeden lingered long in the locker room, knowing that he was committed to playing baseball going forward.

“I left my shoulder pads on forever,” Weeden said. “I left them on for a good 30 minutes. I thought, ‘I'm never going to get to put shoulder pads on again.'

“When you're in high school, to even think about that is like, ‘Man, this sucks.' I remember I didn't want to take my cleats off. I didn't want to take the uniform off, because I loved playing football so much back then.”

Of course, baseball didn't work out quite like Weeden planned.

“Just to have another opportunity to play and strap the pads on, it's a blessing in disguise,” said the Cowboys quarterback.

That time, too, is coming to an end for Weeden, at least with the Cowboys. But not before he takes a shot at connecting the dots from 2001 to himself to the next step in OSU's hopeful climb up the status ladder of college football.


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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