No. 17 Oklahoma State Cowboys Take Control of the Big 12 South

Curtis FinchumCorrespondent INovember 7, 2010

The Big 12 South is in disarray as the two historically elite teams these past decades are struggling. Oklahoma Sooners fell to Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday, putting them alone in third place in the south, while Texas resides in the cellar. 

The top two teams in the conference are not who anyone expected, as they were both picked to finish last. Baylor Bears and Oklahoma State Cowboys battled for lone possession of first place Saturday, which many believed would be an offense showcase between two of the teams. 

The Cowboys have been an offensive powerhouse this season, being the third-highest scoring offense in the country, averaging 550 yards a game. 

Head coach Mike Gundy knew this was a chance for his young Cowboys to take control of the south, and with the nation's best receiver, Justin Blackmon, returning from a one-game suspension, they did just that. 

The Cowboys throttled Baylor 55 to 28, but the score was more dominant than it appears as Baylor scored all 28 points after the Cowboys pulled their starters. 

Oklahoma State junior Brandon Weeden exploded against the Bears, throwing for a new school record of 435 passing yards in a game. A majority of those yards went to Blackmon, who caught 13 passes for 175 yards. 

Oklahoma State had a 725-yard performance and put themselves firmly in control of their own destiny. As they travel to Texas and Kansas, the Cowboys are in prime position to be 10-1 going into Bedlam. 

Senior night against the Sooners could very well be for control of the Big 12 South and a bid to go to the Big 12 Championship, barring any more slipups from either the Sooners or Cowboys. 

With a defense that is steadily improving since its porous performance against Nebraska and an offense spearheaded by one of the most explosive trios in the country, the Cowboys are in good shape to do what many believed they were supposed to do last season. 

As 2010 was supposed to be the "rebuilding year" for Gundy and the Cowboys, it has actually become something different entirely. In his attempt to build a program at Oklahoma State, this season might just say that Gundy and the Cowboys have turned the corner and have become a legitimate Big 12 contender. 

Three weeks will determine just how much the Cowboys want that conference title and a possible rematch against the only team that has beaten them, Nebraska.