With Missouri now in the SEC, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has watched the Tigers' 2013 surprise season from afar.
Still, he's been impressed with Mizzou's 11-2 record and SEC East title, calling it “one of the best stories for turnaround seasons.” So while filling out a ballot for one of the national coach of the year awards, Gundy's pick went to Missouri coach Gary Pinkel.
“Coach Pinkel has been there a long time and built a steady program,” Gundy said “ … I thought he was very deserving of the award.”
Missouri, like OSU, was one game away from playing in a BCS Bowl — the national title game, actually — before losing to Auburn 59-42 in the SEC championship game. That came after the Tigers finished 5-7 a year ago, with just two wins in the SEC.
OPPONENT WATCH: MISSOURI'S SAM EARNS HONOR
OSU ranks as the Big 12's best in protecting the quarterback, allowing just 10 sacks in 12 games.
The Cowboys' Cotton Bowl matchup with Missouri could present a challenge.
Tigers senior Michael Sam has 10 1/2 sacks on his own.
Sam, who leads the SEC in sacks and tackles for losses (18), was named the conference's Co-Defensive Player of the Year in a vote of the league's coaches. He shares the honor with Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley.
As a team, the Tigers have 38 sacks on the season for 217 yards in losses. Their 2.92 sacks per game average ranks 13th nationally.
MEACHAM NAMED O-COORDINATOR AT TCU
Former Cowboys assistant coach Doug Meacham was officially hired as TCU's offensive coordinator Thursday, following one season in the same position at Houston.