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OSU coach Mike Gundy: Scholarship limits, spread offenses have leveled playing field in football

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: November 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm •  Published: November 1, 2010

The winner of Saturday's Baylor-Oklahoma State game will be in position to win the Big 12 South if they could go on to beat Oklahoma later this month.

"The players are aware of that, but we've never been really big on our staff here of mentioning anything other than tomorrow's practice," OSU coach Mike Gundy said on the Big 12 teleconference. "I've never really bought into that throughout my career. The players have to achieve what we want them to in practice."

Neither OSU, ranked No. 17 in the BCS rankings, nor No. 21 Baylor has ever won the Big 12 South.

Gundy, though, said scholarship limitations implemented years ago and the advent of spread offenses has leveled the playing field.

"If you're not prepared you can get beat any given Saturday," Gundy said. "There will be more parity from this point on. I'm convinced there will be teams that can beat schools that traditionally they wouldn't have thought they could beat."

Gundy said spread offenses allow teams that might not be as talented on the offensive and defensive lines to be competitive.

"When you can use the width of the field it allows players that may not be as big or as fast as other players to have an opportunity to have success compared to years ago when the game was played between the hash marks where the bigger and strong opponent had an advantage," Gundy said.

"Now the game is played from sideline to sideline. There are other teams that may have players that may not be as athletic as traditional schools but they still have enough of an opportunity to make plays to score points and win games."

OSU and Baylor are perfect examples.

The Cowboys rank second nationally in total offense, averaging 527.3 yards. The Bears rank eighth in total offense, averaging 490.4 yards.

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