The phrase we heard repeatedly during Oklahoma State’s 2011-12 season was “the Pokes are in control of their own destiny.” This of course was before the stunning upset at Iowa State that ultimately derailed the Cowboys off of their course to the BCS Championship. One must ask, if the university did not suffer yet another tragedy prior to that game in Ames, would things have been different? Would Oklahoma State have gone all the way?
The Stillwater community is tightly-knit, it’s more of an “everybody knows everybody” kind of atmosphere. There have been critics that claim the tragedy didn’t effect the outcome of the game at Iowa State, I strongly disagree. Coaches, players and fans were affected by it, and it showed on the field.
The reason I point to this specific occurrence is because it seems the Cowboys now have a legitimate chance to redeem themselves this coming season. They are loaded, so loaded that even quarterback Wes Lunt’s departure doesn’t even seem to have much of an impact on their roster, a departure which could have sent any other team into a panic.
Oklahoma State’s schedule is in their favor. The road to the Big 12 Championship literally runs through Stillwater. With Kansas State, TCU, Kansas, Baylor and Oklahoma all forced to compete at Boone Pickens, this could very well be the year of the Pokes.