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Five Oklahoma State Things I’ve Missed During the Coronavirus Pandemic

No-Brate Stadium and a specific NCAA championship.



While we’ve continued to crank out coronavirus content over the past month-plus, it has not been the content we’ve wanted to crank out. We’ve traded game previews and insta-caps for antibody summaries and post-apocalyptic balance sheet breakdowns. Not ideal!

I wanted to pause on some of that today and look back on what I’m missing about Oklahoma State sports in these strange times. We all miss something — much of what we’re missing probably has a lot of overlap — so let’s take a look at my list, and I would love to hear your own in the comments below.

1. NCAA Championship: Maybe not the one you’re thinking of though. One of the low-key best events of the academic year is the NCAA Golf Championships. The field is normally littered with future pros, the format is ideal (if costly to Oklahoma State) and the drama is off the charts. It’s a perfect golf event.

If you were going to pick a year to miss, though, this was probably a good one for OSU. The Pokes were not in the top 25 when the season ended and had performed unevenly throughout the year (for them). Even better, OU was No. 2 in the country and poised for a title run (you do hate to see it!). It would have been tough if either of the Hovland-Wolff seasons in 2018 and 2019 would have been upended, but this gives Alan Bratton and Co. a chance to reload and figure things out for 2021.

2. Through line disruption: Remember back in January (which at this point may as well have been seven years ago) as the 2020 football season started to unfold with Chuba and Tylan returning and everything pointing toward a Big 12 title run? The pep rally on campus, the videos and graphics on social, the quotes from everybody involved. It very much felt like a downhill trot from the beginning of 2020 to the end, but that through-line has been not just disrupted but completely snapped in half.

That doesn’t mean OSU won’t contend for or even win the Big 12, but I’m bummed about momentum lost and about getting to hear from players and coaches about how they’re viewing the spring, the summer and their work for the fall in what would have been (and still could be) an all-time OSU season.

3. Recruiting dominoes: I’ve written about this a little bit, but this is normally the time when dominoes start falling for Oklahoma State in recruiting. We can argue about how good those dominoes are (and we will!), but on a practical level, I think OSU has been hurt a little bit by its inability to apply pressure at this point in the cycle. Mike Gundy’s M.O. has been to get in on guys and secure commitments before they blow up a little bit in the summer and fall, and that just hasn’t taken place this year like it has in years past.

We (I) complain about recruiting metrics and methods, but it’s also fun to dive into and one of the primary drivers of interest in OSU world (and thus our website).

4. No-Brate Stadium: Bill Haisten wrote well about this in the Tulsa World this week, but one of the five most anticipated events of 2020 (along with Cade’s debut, the Texas game in BPS and a few others), went up in a puff of smoke. We were really excited to cover the first game in O’Brate Stadium and really excited about covering the rest of what seemed like it was going to be a great season for Josh Holliday’s squad.

“I’ve still never seen a batted ball in the stadium,” Holliday said. “You just hate it for (the 2020 Cowboys) because this group of kids — this group in its entirety — will never be together again.

“We know our day will come, and we know we’ll play in this magnificent facility. Each day, it does feel like we’re getting closer to getting beyond this, but it’s still tragic every day to see that people are dying. This is a time in your life that you’ll never forget.” [Tulsa World]


5. Summer buzz: There’s always that end-of-semester buzz leading into the summer. That “I can’t quite feel the football season yet, but I can definitely see it over there on the horizon and I know after a vacation or two and 841 pool trips with the kids it will be close at hand” feeling. It’s not there right now. It’s nonexistent, which makes me feel as if it’s not going to happen (even though logically I know it almost certainly will). I miss being able to feel summer but smell fall, even from afar.

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