Oklahoma State football: Is the Fiesta Bowl Gundy’s best win at OSU?
Gundy’s best wins as OSU head coach
During the 17 years of the Gundy era, some other highlight wins stand out as ones worthy of challenging the recent Fiesta Bowl triumph.
The 2011 Bedlam win has to be right up there: the Cowboys sealed the Big 12 title (their first conference championship in more than three decades) with the 44-10 domination of the Sooners that ended years of frustration against OSU’s in-state rival.
The 2011 Fiesta Bowl, ironically the following game, also has to be a prime candidate. OSU sealed the nation’s No. 3 ranking (while some would have rather seen the Cowboys in the national title game instead of the SEC West rematch) with the New Year’s Six bowl win against Stanford, which featured star quarterback Andrew Luck.
The 2013 win against No. 3 Baylor was a good one, too. The Cowboys handed the Bears their only regular-season loss of the season in front of national TV crowd with ESPN’s College GameDay on campus. And it wasn’t even close: OSU led 35-3 in the third quarter en route to a 49-17 victory.
However, the damper on this game was what immediately followed: two straight losses (to OU and to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl) to end the season with a 10-3 record and no conference title.
Lastly, the 2008 win against then-No. 3 Missouri was a significant launching point for OSU. The 28-23 win against the Tigers came in Gundy’s fourth year and vaulted the Cowboys into the Top 10 for the first time in years. It was part of a 7-0 start to the season and, though the Pokes would finish 9-4, the win helped start a streak of four consecutive seasons in which OSU finished with nine or more wins.
Overall, it’s entirely possible that last week’s Fiesta Bowl triumph against Notre Dame was the biggest win during Mike Gundy’s time at OSU. In program history? That’s a tall claim for a team that claims the 1945 national championship.
But the biggest impact of this game can’t be measured right now. The Cowboys had a special season, winning 12 games and knocking off traditional powers like Texas, OU, and Notre Dame, but the forward momentum into the 2022 and 2023 seasons will be a telling legacy of this Fiesta Bowl victory.