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Five Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 24-10 Victory against No. 5 Missouri

The best OSU dual team in a decade?



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Not only do wins keep coming for the Cowboys, but ranked wins.

Oklahoma State throttled No. 5 Missouri 24-10 on Sunday in Columbia for its ninth win a row against a ranked opponent and third victory this season over a top-five team. The No. 3 Cowboys improved to 12-0 with three home duals left on the schedule.

Here are Five Thoughts on the Pokes’ impressive outing against Mizzou.

1. John Smith’s Best Dual Team in Over a Decade

This team accomplished something Sunday that hadn’t been done since Chris Perry and Jordan Oliver were on the roster.

The Cowboys’ win against Mizzou was their third this season against a top-five opponent. An OSU team hadn’t taken down that many top-five teams since the 2011-12 season.

This team, though, could add a fourth top-five win when it hosts Iowa on Feb. 25. The Hawkeyes are ranked second but fell to No. 12 Michigan on Sunday. Iowa will still probably be in the top-five when it visits Stillwater, though.

If the Cowboys were to beat a top-five Iowa in a few weeks, they’d be the first to tally four top-five wins since the 2004-05 season. That was the team. OSU had five individual champions that season while winning a national title.

That team was legendary so it’s unfair to compare the 2024 Cowboys to it and do not have those expectations, but it’s safe to state that this is the best dual team John Smith has had in over a decade. And although they don’t give out hardware to great dual teams, there are still rewards from national buzz and fans piling into Gallagher-Iba Arena, especially when trying to return a program back to national dominance.

2. Cowboys Now Big 12 Favorites

OSU has gone two seasons without a conference title, which is an eternity in Cowboy wrestling years, but these past two weekends have asserted the Cowboys back to their rightful place as Big 12 favorites.

Missouri has won the past two Big 12 titles after coming back to the conference in 2021. Although the Tigers weren’t fully healthy, OSU handled them Sunday. Iowa State entered this season as the presumed No. 2 in the Big 12, but the Cowboys took care of the Cyclones last weekend.

I will warn about airing on the side of caution when using dual results to assume tournament outcomes. OSU also beat Mizzou last year 17-16, but still fell behind the Tigers, for example.

This team has several proven possible conference finalists, though, in veterans like Daton Fix, Dustin Plott and Izzak Olejnik. This Big 12 is deep enough now that three or four finalists can be enough to win the team title.

3. Young Guys Thrive on Big Stages Instead of Wilt

My assurance of OSU as the Big 12 favorite might be less about the team results against Mizzou and ISU, but more about how the Cowboy freshmen performed.

OSU freshmen were 7-1 in matches against top-five Big 12 opponents Mizzou and ISU the past two weekends. Those are big stages with hectic atmospheres against quality opponents, and the Cowboy freshmen thrived instead of wilted.

Sunday, 125-pounder Troy Spratley was clutch with a takedown in sudden victory to beat a top-five competitor. Jordan Williams got bonus points against a lesser opponent, which is needed for teams looking for team titles. At 174, Brayden Thompson also beat a top-five opponent in sudden victory, 8-1. Tagen Jamison was injured Sunday at 141 pounds, but against ISU he beat No. 8 Anthony Echemendia 4-1 in sudden victory.

This set of rookies still has a month to improve before the postseason and two more big-time experiences with OU and Iowa coming to Stillwater.

The Cowboys are thriving because their freshmen are. And they’ll all be dangerous in March.

4. Heckuva Homecoming for Teague Travis

I’m sure John Smith was glad Teague Travis is on his side.

Travis’ roots are deep in Columbia, especially inside the Tigers’ wrestling room. Not only did Travis grow up in Columbia, but both his dad and uncle wrestled for Mizzou. Nonetheless, the Travis family uprooted to Stillwater, where Travis finished his high school career as four-time state champion– three of which were won in Missouri. He said earlier this week he chose OSU over Mizzou particularly because of the coaching staff, and that was even before Smith added Coleman Scott as associate head coach.

In his first collegiate match inside Hearnes Center, Travis, ranked 17th at 157, upset No. 10 Brock Mauller 4-2. He improved to 15-3 and is 9-2 since bumping up from 149 to 157 pounds.

5. What’s Ahead

The Cowboys are on the homestretch and are still unbeaten at 12-0.

OSU has three duals left, with only one each of the next three weekends and all in Stillwater. All of the Cowboys’ remaining duals are against ranked opponents, meaning OSU will finish the season having faced 11 ranked teams in a row.

The Cowboys will host No. 11 South Dakota State on Saturday, No. 22 OU on Feb. 18 and No. 2 Iowa on Feb. 25. The Big 12 Championships will start the postseason March 9.

Even with a lineup that will most likely feature four freshmen, there shouldn’t be a team in the country that’s more tested and prepared for the postseason than the Cowboys.

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