For Cowboys fans, the first 57 minutes of Saturday’s game at Iowa State had to feel almost identical to 2011. Oklahoma State took the lead for the first time in the game with 3:06 remaining off a 7-yard touchdown pass from J.W. Walsh to Jeff Carr for a 35-31 win in Ames.
The Cowboys for the second time this season overcame a 17-point deficit on the road to improve to 10-0 and 7-0 in the Big 12. Also, Walsh had a huge 16 yard touchdown run that pulled the Cowboys within three points 31-28 with 11:33 to go in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma State continues to balance their two quarterback system well, as Mason Rudolph passed for 327 yards and a touchdown, while J.W. Walsh rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another.
On one hand, you could question a few of the Cowboys performances this season (Texas, K-State, and Texas Tech). But on the other hand, you would have to say they are extremely resilient. Saturday’s win was the fourth time they have come from behind to win this season (Texas, K-State, Texas Tech, and Iowa State).
The question will now turn to what the Playoff Committee will do with the Cowboys on Tuesday night. Will they get punished for barely winning or will they be rewarded for surviving?
I believe the committee should move Oklahoma State up to number five in this week’s poll. I don’t think the Cowboys have proven enough yet to jump Notre Dame for that coveted number four spot, but Oklahoma State has been more impressive than Iowa and has the best win between those two teams (TCU). Iowa technically has two top-25 wins, compared to Oklahoma State’s one. But, anyone with two eyes and watches college football understands that the Big 10 West is incredibly mediocre. It will also be interesting to see how far the committee moves Oklahoma up after their big win over Baylor; my guess is to number seven. The Sooners continue to play out as the dark horse candidate for a CFB Playoff spot.
If things play out as I think they will, it’s still too early for Oklahoma State or Big 12 fans to panic. There is still a lot to play out in these next three weeks. First of all, Oklahoma State still has to win against Baylor and Oklahoma … no easy task.
Notre Dame still has the tough test of going to Stanford on the last week of the season. Even though Stanford fell on Saturday, they would love nothing more than to knock Notre Dame out of the Playoff.
Ohio State closes the season out with potentially three games against top 15 teams (Michigan St, at Michigan, vs Iowa). Alabama will have to beat Florida in the SEC Championship game and Clemson will have to beat South Carolina and probably UNC in Charlotte, a UNC town, for the ACC Championship.
The point is, we all need to take a step back and realize there is a lot of football left to play. The best thing Oklahoma State can do not worry about the rest of the teams in the top 10, and instead focus on what they can control: beating Baylor and OU and winning the Big 12. Then, let the chips fall where they may.
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