During their bye week, both Oklahoma State and Texas got to watch as Kansas State upset Oklahoma in Norman, West Virginia struggle with Maryland and Baylor come back to beat pesky Louisiana-Monroe.
And with the full-fledged Big 12 schedule nearly beginning this weekend (TCU plays SMU) — not to mention preseason title favorite OU already taking a loss — OSU coach Mike Gundy and Co. are preparing for a wild ride through the conference season. In addition to OSU's primetime showdown with the No. 12 Longhorns, No. 9 West Virginia hosts No. 25 Baylor and Texas Tech travels to Iowa State in a trio of games that appear to be toss-ups.
“It's wide open, because there are a lot of teams that are really good,” Gundy said “ … I think there's more parity this year than there ever has been. Every year, it's growing more and more in that area, which is good.
“It's good for the league. It's good for the fans. It creates interest. It's hard on the coaches, but there's a number of teams that are good football teams.”
OPPONENT WATCH: TEXAS PREPPING FOR FAST-PACED COWBOY OFFENSE
The fact OSU ranks in the top 6 in the nation in scoring offense, total offense, passing offense and rushing offense isn't what concerns Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
It's the number of plays the Cowboys run. OSU has snapped the ball 267 times in three games, an average of 89 plays per game.
“It's hard to be a really good defensive player for 75, 85, 95 plays,” Diaz told the Longhorn Network. “You're just going to get worn out. This is a test. Another great example of what we were able to get accomplished on the bye week is that it's not just testing our first 11, it's testing our second 11.
“We've got to have 22 guys we can roll through this game. Otherwise, we're going to wear down. We won't survive it.”
FRIENDLY WAR FOR STEWART
Cowboy receiver Josh Stewart chuckled when asked if this weekend's game against UT is different from others, since he went to middle and high school in the Dallas suburb of Denton.
“I've got a lot of friends back home that are kind of like against me right now, because of Texas,” Stewart said. “Yeah, I think it's an exciting game. We're going to approach it like any other game, though, and play hard.”
But what about for Stewart personally? He was once committed to Texas A&M to play cornerback, before OSU offered him a scholarship and he switched his pledge.
“I don't really have no hatred on any team,” Stewart said, “but I know it's time to strap up and go to war.”
OSU, TEXAS COACHES TO WEAR ‘COACH TO CURE MD' PATCHES
Coaches at OSU and Texas, and at every Football Bowl Subdivision school playing this weekend, will wear arm patches Saturday to help raise awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy as part of the “Coach to Cure MD” program.
Coach to Cure MD is a partnership between the American Football Coaches Association and Parent Project MD. The program, which is in its fifth year, is expected to top $1 million in donations this season for research to find a cure for the most common fatal childhood genetic disorder. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscle disorder that causes loss of muscle function and independence.
Fans can donate $5 by texting the word “CURE” to 90999 or can donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org.