Mike Gundy tallied many personal accomplishments with Oklahoma State's Bedlam victory over Oklahoma on Saturday night, beating the Sooners for the first time as a head coach and bringing the first outright conference title to his alma mater.
But Gundy said it meant much more to him that he got to hand the Big 12 title trophy to mega-booster Boone Pickens and that his players and coaches got to experience winning that conference championship for the first time.
“I told my wife this during the week that I'm going to be OK,” Gundy said. “Because I see what's going on in this organization and I'm proud of what these guys are accomplishing. I wanted it for all of them.
“I want them to feel what it's like, so they understand the hard work's worth it.”
COWBOYS SLOW THE PACE
The Cowboys' typical pass-first offense turned into a run-heavy attack against OU, amassing 278 yards while Jeremy Smith and Joseph Randle scored two touchdowns apiece.
Gundy said after the game that part of the reason for the shift in philosophy was because the OSU coaches predicted that OU would not expect it. But he also wanted to use the run to eat up clock and try to keep the Cowboy defense off the field.
“We had to use some tight ends and some heavy sets at times and run the football effectively in order to open up everything else that we thought gave us the best chance to win,” Gundy said. “We didn't play as fast. We thought it would be best to use some of the clock to limit the number of plays that our defense was on the field.”
That's been a concern for Gundy in recent weeks, as the OSU defense has played 1,008 snaps this season. Saturday night, the Cowboys ran 69 plays while the Sooners ran 83.
GUNDY WANTS A PLAYOFF
Even before OSU found out it would be kept out of the BCS title game, Gundy said that the best way to determine college football's national champion would be through a playoff.
He's just not sure the best way to go about it.
“Some schools are on semesters, some are on quarters. Some are in finals, other teams aren't in finals,” Gundy said. “You're not supposed to practice during finals week, certainly (not) ‘dead week' (OSU's week before finals). So I just don't know how they work it out.
“But there's no question that we all would like to get to a final 16 or a final eight and play the thing off. I just don't have an answer. I've seen a lot of different proposals. I just don't know that anybody's come up with a way for it to actually work yet.”
INJURY UPDATE: MICHAEL HARRISON RETURNS, JEREMY SMITH TWEAKS ANKLE
Wide receiver Michael Harrison, who missed the Texas Tech and Iowa State games with a sprained ankle, returned to action against the Sooners. He had one catch for 10 yards.
Smith was on crutches and in a boot Sunday after tweaking his left ankle in the second half against OU. He said the injury is not serious.