OU vs. OSU: 5 Things We Learned in Oklahoma State's Victory over Oklahoma
Oklahoma State shocked the college football world by stomping all over the Sooners in a 44-10 rout Saturday night in Stillwater.
Sure, OSU was favored to win. But very few people expected this.
Considering the quality of their play, OSU proved a lot in their victory, including, in my opinion, that they deserve to play LSU for the BCS title (more on that later).
Here are the five most important things we learned from OSU's shellacking of Oklahoma.
5. Cowboy Defense Is for Real
OSU's defense, despite forcing the most turnovers in the nation, had not received much credit prior to this game because of the large number of points and yards they have yielded this season.
Tonight, however, the Cowboy D made an emphatic statement. They dominated the Sooners, forcing five turnovers and holding the Sooners to 10 points, 33 below their season average.
A defense perceived as being porous and weak has been the biggest knock on OSU up to this point in the season. That will change now, as the Cowboys proved their defense can make plays and even dictate the game, as they did against OU.
4. OU Can Be Their Own Worst Enemy
Oklahoma can thank themselves to an extent for being out of this game by halftime.
Credit must be given to Oklahoma State overall for the way they dominated this game, but Landry Jones' two fumbles, multiple drops by the receivers and an ill-timed roughing the passer penalty changed the course of the game and contributed to the bloodbath.
Sooner fans must be frustrated to see their team, which is highly capable and much better than this score indicates, make so many mistakes and look sloppy overall in the biggest game of the season.
3. Bedlam Has Entered a New Era
With this win, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are no longer the stepchild to the Oklahoma Sooners.
OU had won eight straight over OSU prior to tonight and still enjoys a huge advantage in wins over the rivalry's history, but the Cowboys' sheer annihilation of a good OU team fundamentally changes the Bedlam Rivarly, and for the better.
We are entering new territory in this increasingly bitter series between the orange and black and the crimson and cream. Will Oklahoma State start a win streak of their own, or will OU bounce back and reestablish their dominance? Only time will tell.
2. Oklahoma Is Not What We Thought They Were
Although the Sooners had lost two games prior to tonight, the losses were very close, and OU competed until the bitter end.
The Bedlam Bloodbath, however, was a different story. OU was manhandled. Although OSU is a very good team and, in my opinion, deserves to play for the national title, failing to stay within 34 points of ANY team is simply inexcusable for an Oklahoma team that, contrary to what you may think after tonight's performance, has a lot of talent.
It's very hard to believe that OU was forecasted to play for the national championship at the beginning of this season. In their three losses this season, the Sooners have obliterated these expectations and proven that they are nowhere near as high-caliber as we previously thought. Many thought they would go undefeated. One loss would not have been very surprising, but fathomable. Two, very unexpected. Three, almost unthinkable. Yet that is what happened.
1. Oklahoma State Deserves to Play LSU
Going into this game, OSU was a long shot to play LSU in New Orleans.
Their performance tonight, though, proved beyond any doubt that the Cowboys, and not the Crimson Tide, should be LSU's challenger on January 9.
The Cowboys have now defeated five Top 25 teams; Alabama has only beaten two. OSU has beaten seven winning teams; Alabama has only beaten three. The Cowboys' offense has dazzled the entire season to a much higher degree than the Alabama offense.
While the 'Bama D statistically has been more impressive overall than OSU's, the Cowboys have forced more turnovers than any other team and proved a lot by holding one of the most potent offenses in the nation (Oklahoma) to one touchdown and forcing five turnovers.
OSU delivered when it had to, and in a remarkably impressive way, by pummeling the Sooners. The Cowboys were dominant in all three phases. There is no reason not to believe they would have had a legitimate chance to beat LSU.
And simply saying that 'Bama deserves to play LSU because they lost to LSU while OSU lost to Iowa State is not a good enough argument. OSU has proven more than Alabama over the course of the season, they won their conference and are a well-rounded and explosive team that may indeed be able to beat the Tigers in New Orleans. Alabama already had their chance to beat LSU and failed. Now, it's OSU's turn. They have earned it.
The BCS must avoid a catastrophic failure by pitting two teams from the same conference against each other. If Oklahoma State jumps Alabama, the system will have gotten it right for once, and LSU-OSU should be a great matchup and make for a compelling championship.