It was tough for Oklahoma State football fans to witness another undefeated Cowboys squad visit Ames and emerge with a disappointing three-point loss. But, history repeated itself last Saturday afternoon as OSU blew a fourth-quarter lead in its first loss of the season, a 24-21 setback to Iowa State.
The loss was eerily reminiscent of OSU’s 2011 visit to Ames in which the No. 2-ranked Cowboys lost in double-overtime, thus spoiling the chance for Mike Gundy and the Pokes to reach that year’s national title game.
Oklahoma State football is still arguably in the driver’s seat for a berth in the 2021 Big 12 championship game despite its loss to Iowa State last weekend.
OSU (6-1, 3-1) still has everything to play for this season, however, including a trip to Arlington, Tex. for the Big 12 championship game. The Cowboys are one of three teams currently tied for second place in the Big 12 standings with one conference loss apiece, along with Iowa State and Baylor. Texas lurks dangerously behind at 2-2 in conference play.
Oklahoma (8-0, 5-0) is in first place, and it shouldn’t be assumed that the Sooners will run the table and waltz into Arlington unscathed. OU trailed 10-0 at halftime to an incredibly weak Kansas squad before pulling away late in the fourth quarter for a victory. For reference, the Jayhawks have lost by four touchdowns to a Sun Belt team and lost 59-7 to Iowa State a few weeks later.
The Cyclones (also 3-1 in Big 12 play) have road games to West Virginia and OU sandwiching a home visit from Texas. Baylor (3-1 Big 12 record) hosts Texas, travels to TCU, and hosts OU for the next three weeks. If the Bears and Longhorns do well, it will help put OSU in a good position to reach its first-ever Big 12 championship game.
The Big 12 championship game was not held from 2011 to 2017, as the conference had its membership dwindle to under 12 teams before deciding to reinstate the game for the 2018 season.
Ultimately, though, the Cowboys need to win in order to reach the Big 12 title game. After hosting Kansas for Homecoming in Week 9, the Cowboys will travel to Morgantown to face West Virginia. Though OSU has beaten the Mountaineers for six consecutive years, it’s traditionally been a tough place to play.
OSU will then host TCU and travel to Texas Tech before facing the Sooners for the 2021 regular-season finale. With wins in these four games before Bedlam, the Cowboys will be well-positioned to reach their first Big 12 championship game in school history.