It's gut-check time in Stillwater.
The Cowboys season — the important part of the season, the Big 12 Conference run — now reads .500.
And their 4-4 league mark involves a two-game losing streak of Bedlam and Baylor, leaving a disgruntled fan base which hates losing to Oklahoma in anything, even in Norman; and also despises losing at home, especially to an unranked and uninspiring squad like the Bears.
More bad news arrived Sunday in the form of a second arrest of backup point guard Stevie Clark, leaving his status with the team uncertain.
So there's all that.
Yet it's inside the program where a response is needed.
This team, once picked as a Big 12 co-favorite and propped up as a Final Four contender, no longer looks the part.
While all is not lost, with more than a month still remaining in the regular season, OSU's confidence and swagger and long-term appeal have certainly gone absent.
And at a time when they need it most.
Now everyone is watching to see where the Cowboys go from here.
At one point Saturday, with OSU scuffling with Baylor, the ESPN.com home page featured the Cowboys amid this headline: “Battle to Remain Relevant.”
“We're just not playing well,” Cowboys coach Travis Ford said. “As I told our team, we've got to keep our head up and weather the storm.”
The better approach might be to charge into the storm, revealing the same aggressive and strong play that carried this team through meaningful wins over Memphis and Purdue and Butler and South Carolina and Colorado and Texas.
Those efforts shouldn't be forgotten.
Yes, the Cowboys have been hampered by the loss of post player Michael Cobbins, but players and coaches are even growing weary of hearing about it.
“It doesn't do any good to talk about it, to be honest with you,” Ford said. “We know he was an important piece of the team, no question, but the facts are he's not coming back this season.
“For us, it doesn't do any good to really even to talk about that, other than we've done some things to try to address (problems).”
This is a team made up of strong wills, competitors and tough guys. All of them were around a year ago, when OSU emerged from a similar funk to rattle off seven straight wins on its way to an NCAA Tournament berth that ignited the optimism that carried into this season.
“We take a lot from losing,” said Cowboys senior Markel Brown. “We lost to Baylor and OU last year and it sparked a run for us. It can happen again this year.”
Sure, it could happen again.
Yet things were a little different from a year ago, when those Cowboys were still determined underdogs out to prove they belonged, using a chip on the shoulder to fuel a breakthrough.
Can this team summon that same resolve?
Everyone is watching to see where the Cowboys go from here.