STILLWATER — Hours before their team was even set to take the field, Oklahoma State fans were cheering.
Were they warming up?
Kansas, after all, was in town, and frankly, the hapless Jayhawks give most opposing fans plenty of reasons to cheer.
But this wasn't about the Jayhawks or even the Cowboys. This was about the Sooners. Yes, there were orange-clad Cowboy fans at a watering hole only a few blocks from campus cheering Oklahoma's beatdown of Texas.
Cowboy Nation wants a Bedlam battle of unbeatens.
It looks more like a certainty every day.
On an afternoon when OSU dispatched Kansas with historic authority, 70-28, the road opened a bit wider for the Cowboys. As they embark on their most difficult pre-Bedlam stretch — back-to-back road games at Texas and Missouri — the task doesn't seem as daunting as it once did.
Not after the Cowboys kept rolling right along.
Not after the Longhorns and Tigers stumbled.
Not that the Cowboys are buying such talk.
“They all get tougher,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said of future games. “As the year goes on, no matter who you're playing, they all get tougher.
“We're going to have to buckle down and get focused.”
He's right, of course, but if this weekend of college football is any indication, these next couple games are more winnable than ever.
Texas is vulnerable.
Ditto for Missouri.
When the dawn broke Saturday, that didn't seem to be the case.
Texas was unbeaten, and even though the Horns' high ranking was an aberration — wins against UCLA and Iowa State a top-10 team make? — they seemed much improved.
Then, they played a good team.
The Longhorns got drummed by 38 points on a neutral field.
As for Missouri, the Tigers had lost only to the Sooners in Norman. No shame in that. Everyone loses in Norman. But since the Tigers gave the Sooners fits, you had to wonder about the Cowboys' trip to Columbia.
After Missouri's 24-17 loss at Kansas State, that game doesn't seem so treacherous.
Yes, the Wildcats are better, but I like the Cowboys' chances of scoring more than 24 against the Tigers.
So, when the rain came and the night fell Saturday, these looming games at Texas and Missouri didn't seem as scary as they once did. Mind you, they aren't for-sure wins for OSU. No game on the road is.
But both the Horns and the Tigers have shown that they are beatable.
“We really don't really care,” Cowboy defensive end Richetti Jones said of what other teams are doing. “We look at it one week at a time, one day at a time. What they do? Whatever.
“We're gonna keep on ballin'.”
That's what they did against the Jayhawks, and frankly, that's one more reason to like the Cowboys' changes these next two weeks. They were coming off a huge win at Texas A&M, and they were coming off a bye week.
It was a recipe for a letdown.
There was none.
How to quantify the Cowboys' big day? Would it be the way they rolled to a 35-7 lead in the first quarter or a 56-7 lead at halftime, tying school records for points in a quarter and in a half? Or that the offense scored on every possession of the first half? Or that the defense came up with four turnovers before halftime? Or that the reserves had the entire second half to themselves?
“It was a very crisp game, which is good,” Cowboy defensive end Jamie Blatnick said. “Hopefully, that's going to carry over into next week.”
No reason to think it won't.
Frankly, with the way the Cowboys are playing, there's no reason to think that they can't win every game from now till Bedlam. Who wouldn't want the showdown that would set up?
Those Cowboy fans cheering Sooner touchdowns Saturday morning sure do, and the way their team is playing, it's easy to see why.