Oklahoma State has gone from the highest heights it has seen in a decade to the lowest of lows in the span of 11 days. On November 27, the Cowboys defeated its in-state rival Oklahoma 37-33 in a classic Bedlam game and OSU looked like it was well on its way to a Big 12 Title and a berth in the College Football Playoff. Then, freshman Blake Shapen and the Baylor Bears did what we all doubted they could do; they scored enough points and held the Cowboys out of the end zone four times to end the game with a 21-16 victory.
Even though they were unable to bring home the Big 12 Title, the Cowboys were able to secure a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl: the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, that will be the last game that the Cowboys defense will play under Broyles award finalist Jim Knowles. As was reported Tuesday, Knowles is the newest member of the Ohio State coaching staff and will take command of the Buckeye defense on January 2nd. This is a bittersweet moment for Oklahoma State players and fans, because he brought OSU to new heights defensively but will now attempt to do the same at one of the top three programs in the entire country.
Oklahoma State players have taken to Twitter with mixed but mostly positive responses to Knowles leaving:
Most of the players in his unit are seniors and will move on from the Cowboys along with him, but the memories and moments of the 2021 season will live on forever. This was the best Cowboys defense to ever take the field, and Jim Knowles was a large part of that. The opportunity to coach at Ohio State is massive, but his turnaround will need to be quick because Ryan Day and the Buckeyes are always in “Win Now” mode. It’s not exactly Stillwater up there, but I have no problem believing that Knowles will get the job done.