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OSU-Texas isn't just about this season, it's about the future

OSU doesn't need to beat the Longhorns to win the Big 12 South. But with a strong showing against Texas and OU, Oklahoma State could walk tall in the new 10-team Big 12.
by Berry Tramel Modified: November 12, 2010 at 7:17 am •  Published: November 11, 2010

Mike Holder admits to driving down summer roads, daydreaming. Imagine all kinds of football scenarios.

Victory over Oklahoma. Victory over Texas. Winning the Big 12 South. Winning the Big 12.

But not even OSU's Marlboro Man of an athletic director could have imagined this. All those glorious feats in such a transformational season.

The Cowboys in 2011 enter a bold new world. No divisions in the Big 12. A new frontier. A 10-team league that upon formation was accurately billed as an Oklahoma/Texas cartel.

What better way to enter than with a Big 12 trophy, or at least the South banner, or the Schooner's wagon wheels and Bevo's horns dangling from Bullet's rearview mirror?

All those carrots start with beating Texas on Saturday in Traffic City.

The Cowboys don't mathematically need to beat the Longhorns to win the South. But to walk into the new Big 12 with the broadest shoulders, beating the beleaguered 'Horns is mandatory. Beating them bad is even better.

“For us to not say this is an important game would be crazy,” said Mike Gundy, who is 0-5 against both OU and Texas but who looks to be 1-5 against both by Thanksgiving Sunday.

“We're starting to turn the corner. This would be good for our program.”

Last summer, the future championship outlook for any school besides OU and Texas appeared dim. Beating both in the same year would seem to be required, but beating both in the same year was nigh impossible. No team has, since Mack Brown and Bob Stoops arrived on the Big 12 scene.

Suddenly, the Cowboys' program has accelerated. What appeared to be a rebuilding season now is in championship gear. OSU is favored by a virtual touchdown in Austin and figures to be a solid Bedlam favorite in two weeks in Stillwater.

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