Oklahoma State Cowboys

Mike Gundy: Oklahoma State Was ‘The Best Team in the Country’ in 2011

Mike Gundy

Mike Gundy just concluded his 19th season as head coach for the Oklahoma State Cowboys and has put together quite a career record during his time in Stillwater.

His most recent year ended with a 10-4 record capped by a bowl victory over Texas A&M. To this point, he holds a career record of 166-79, and by season’s end, he should rank inside the top three for all-time wins as a head coach in the Big 12.

While Gundy has won just about as many games as anyone over the past decade, it’s the team he led 13 years ago that still haunts many to this day.


In 2011, Oklahoma State finished the season ranked third nationally, but in Gundy’s opinion, they were top two, and not two.

In a recent appearance on the Talk of the Town 918’s YouTube channel, Gundy flat out said that his 2011 team was the best in the country and, given the chance, would’ve won the national championship that year.


“We beat Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl,” Gundy said. “That’s the year we should have played in the National Championship.”

With a roster consisting of multiple first-round NFL Draft picks, such as quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon, Gundy explained that the Cowboys “had the best team in the country.”

“They put Alabama in, ahead of us, and they played LSU. We had the best team in the country. We would have won the National Championship that year,” the three-time Big 12 Coach of the Year added. “They sent us to play Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. We beat them (Stanford), and we ended up third in the country.”

While they didn’t get a chance to play for the national title that season, the Pokes didn’t leave 2011 empty-handed by any stretch of the imagination. Their time in the national spotlight and a star-studded roster that shined brightest under the big lights earned them the status and recognition that Oklahoma State football enjoys today.

And it all started with that unforgettable 41-38 OT win over Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal.


“That really established us from coast to coast because, at that point in my career, we were far enough along that there was good media coverage, so people really saw us, from coast to coast, win and end up third in the country.

“That [win] took this program to a different level.”

Oklahoma State also won the Big 12 title in 2011, with Weeden throwing for 4,727 yards along with 37 touchdowns, while Blackmon had 1,522 receiving yards, reaching the end zone 18 times.

The Cowboys finished with a 12-1 record that included victories over No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 13 Oklahoma, and No. 17 Kansas State.

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