The last time Oklahoma State was ranked in the top 5 in The Associated Press poll, things did not go so well.
Houston upset the Cowboys 45-35 on Sept. 12, 2009, and OSU has not climbed that high in the polls since.
After Saturday's thrilling 30-29 road victory against then-No. 8 Texas A&M, OSU jumped ahead of Stanford and Wisconsin and landed at No. 5 in rankings.
OSU coach Mike Gundy expects his team to be better prepared to handle the high spot in the polls this time around.
“We've learned as we've gone through this, and we should be better than we were the last time,” Gundy said. “Hopefully, what it comes down to is your preparation on your Sunday through Thursday. And your mental adjustments on Friday and Saturday before the game have to be good each week, or you take a chance on losing.
“I'd like to think that people have a better feel for how to handle it, and our approach is from a businesslike manner.”
OSU has been ranked in the top 5 three other times in school history — twice in 1984 and once in 1985. The Cowboys have a record of 1-3 as a top-5 team, with the last win coming against Iowa State in 1984.
LB JOHNSON CLOSE TO RETURNING
Linebacker Tyler Johnson, who has not played yet this season because of a sprained knee, returned to practice last week and could be back for the Kansas game, Gundy said Sunday.
“He should get better as we go,” Gundy said. “He should really be up and running pretty good by the Kansas game.”
Johnson had been battling Caleb Lavey for the starting middle linebacker spot during the preseason before having his knee scoped. Lavey has started all four games for the Cowboys and has 21 tackles so far this season.
“Caleb's played OK,” Gundy said. “He's been out there. He hasn't been a guy that's shown up a lot, but he's been in the right spots and he's learning on the run.”
OFFENSIVE LINE TO SHUFFLE WITHOUT RUSH
Gundy had an easy answer when asked who will replace Devin Hedgepeth, who suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon Saturday, as the Cowboys' third cornerback. That job now belongs to junior Andrae May.
But Gundy did not have any clear solution as to who will replace Jonathan Rush, who suffered a left knee injury, at the starting left guard spot.
“I don't have a clue,” Gundy said. “I don't think anybody does, including (offensive line coach Joe Wickline). We've got guys, but I don't know what he'll do. He'll shuffle (people) around, but there's no telling what he'll do.”
Nick Martinez slid over from tackle to guard, and Parker Graham filled in at tackle after Rush went down Saturday.
Gundy said both Hedgepeth and Rush will have MRIs on Monday to confirm their injuries.
GUNDY: SPENCER BACK TO ‘NORMAL ROUTINE'
OSU co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer was with the Cowboys for Saturday's win after laying his wife, Angela, to rest Thursday in Georgia.
And after attending all of Sunday's meetings with coaches and players, Gundy expects that Glenn Spencer will continue to work back into his typical day-to-day schedule.
“I would say that he's probably in a normal routine,” Gundy said. “He knows that if at any time, he needs to take some time, he can. But he's been here (Sunday) and been in the normal flow of activities.”
Angela Spencer, who had a history of heart problems, died Sept. 17. Glenn Spencer returned to Stillwater during the Cowboys' three-hour rain delay before their game against Tulsa and was not involved in preparation for the A&M game.
GUNDY SURPRISED BY AIRPORT RECEPTION
When the Cowboys arrived at the Stillwater airport around 9:30 p.m. Saturday following their victory in College Station, between 300 and 400 fans were there to greet them.
Gundy said the reception at the airport came as a bit of a shock.
“There were a lot of people there,” Gundy said. “I always forget about that on the plane — I don't really think ahead like that. But once we landed, I thought, ‘Well, I could see why they were there.' I was surprised there were that many people there.”