LAFAYETTE, La. — The recommended eve plan for Oklahoma State's high-riding football team and its game tonight against Louisiana-Lafayette game.
A Cajun feast, but no movie at some Bayou Bijou.
Instead, Mike Gundy should have assembled his Cowboys, put in a tape of the 2007 Troy game and said pay attention.
Not a coaches' cut. The television broadcast of Troy's 41-23 smashing of OSU, a game in which Troy led 41-10.
Let the Cowboys see the humanity of it all. Let the Cowboys be warned. Strange and unpleasant things can happen in college football's version of Deliverance.
"I was there," said OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden, who in 2007 was a freshman on the traveling squad in that game deep in Alabama. "It wasn't pretty. Kind of a trap game like this.
"We didn't have much life, on the sideline especially. We were just kind of dead and going through the motions.
"I've brought that to a lot of people's attention. I don't want a dÃ©jÃ vu of that game."
The Sun Belt Conference, college football's punching bag, rarely gets a home game against a power-conference opponent.
Since 2004, Sun Belt teams have played 125 road games at BCS conference schools. Compared to 16 home games against such opponents.
We read all the time about 2-for-1's in college football scheduling. Or 3-for-1's. But the Sun Belt is on an 8-for-1 deal. Eight road games for every marquee home game.
So make no mistake. The crowd, however big or small tonight in 31,000-seat Cajun Stadium, will be juiced. And so will the Cajuns themselves.
This is Louisiana-Lafayette's chance to make a name for itself. A ranked team has ventured into Cajun Stadium only once before; Texas A&M left a 29-22 loser in 1996.
"Certainly they'll be fired up," Gundy said. "It'll be a big night for them. It'll be a night when the students are there, with the TV (ESPN2).
"You're not going to have a stadium size-wise that would be maybe comparable to some in this league, but from a noise level, they'll be very excited and they'll try to make it as hostile environment as possible. It'll be a challenge for our players to compete in that environment."
Outside the emotion and opportunity, the Cajuns represent little threat. They are 2-2, having lost 55-7 at Georgia (the Bulldogs' lone victory) and 34-14 at home to Middle Tennessee.
But this is just the Cajuns' second home game against a BCS-league foe since 2002. The other came last September, and Kansas State went home a 17-15 loser.
"I think the biggest thing, it gets in your kids' mind that you can do this," Cajun coach Rickey Bustle said of beating K-State.
Despite the hoopla of a ranked Big 12 team coming to town, the game is not sold out. ULL is offering two-for-one ticket specials.
"The ones we have there, I know will be live," Bustle said. "And like I've said before, our crowd to our kids is like spinach to Popeye."
Be warned, Cowboys. Be duly warned.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
Three games in Lafayette, La., to remember as OSU plays at Louisiana-Lafayette tonight:
1986: OSU 21, Southwestern Louisiana 20.
An OSU team that would finish 6-5 overall and 4-3 in the Big Eight, an OSU team that had Thurman Thomas as a junior and Hart Lee Dykes as a sophomore, needed two touchdowns in the final 31/2 minutes to win. Ronnie Williams' 11-yard TD pass to Dykes with eight seconds left gave the Cowboys the win over the Ragin' Cajuns, who would finish 6-5.
1996: Southwestern Louisiana 29, Texas A&M 22.
The 25th-ranked Aggies committed eight turnovers, and Britt Jackson's 30-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Ragin' Cajuns the upset. The Cajuns finished 5-6 that season.
2009: Louisiana-Lafayette 17, Kansas State 15.
A 48-yard field goal with 32 seconds left gave the Cajuns the upset, a verdict that kept K-State out of a bowl. Louisiana-Lafayette went on to finish 6-6.
SUN BELT VS. BCS
Since 2004, BCS-league teams are just 11-5 when playing on the road against Sun Belt Conference opponents:
Sun Belt wins
2004: Troy 24, Missouri 14
2007: Florida Atlantic 42, Minnesota 39*
2007: Troy 41, OSU 23
2008: Middle Tennessee 24, Maryland 14
2009: Louisiana-Lafayette 17, Kansas State 15
Sun Belt losses
2005: Oklahoma State 23, Florida Atlantic 3*
2006: Louisville 44, Middle Tennessee 17*
2007: Maryland 26, Florida International 10
2007: South Florida 35, Florida Atlantic 23
2007: Virginia 23, Middle Tennessee 21
2008: South Florida 17, Florida International 9
2009: Mississippi State 27, Middle Tennessee 6
2009: South Florida 35, Western Kentucky 13
2010: Indiana 38, Western Kentucky 21
2010: Minnesota 24, Middle Tennessee 17
2010: Louisville 34, Arkansas State 24
* denotes games played off campus, at NFL stadiums.