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History, Culture Actually Play in Oklahoma State’s Favor against Texas in Big 12 Championship, At Least Recently

OSU is 9-4 against Texas since ending a 12-year losing streak.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

If history repeats itself when Oklahoma State plays Texas in the Big 12 Championship at 11 a.m. Saturday, the Cowboys better hope it’s recent history.

And there’s a lot of history there since 1916 — 38 games after Saturday that will be bookended by the only neutral site meetings between the programs. Texas holds a 26-11 edge in the all-time series. Most of that advantage comes from the early days of the series, though, including a stretch of 12 straight Longhorn wins between 1998-2009.

OSU beat Texas in 2010 and 2011 (the first time the Cowboys had beaten the Longhorns twice in a row) to end that 12-year drought. In 2013, Texas let go of 15-year coach Mack Brown as Mike Gundy entered his ninth season at his alma-mater. Texas has had three different coaches in the 10 years since.

In a year OSU has shown that Gundy’s patent “Cowboy Culture” maybe isn’t cliché but legit after all, there’s further proof in the Pokes’ success against a program that famously lost its way and people jokingly ask if it’s back.

Almost all of the Cowboys’ success happened in the last decade, as seven of their 11 wins against Texas were obtained since 2013. Even more so, this is OSU’s second trip in three years to the Big 12 Championship. Texas hasn’t been since 2018. The Cowboys won a Big 12 title in 2011, while the Longhorns haven’t since 2009.

After losing to Texas his first five seasons in charge, Gundy is 9-4 since. That includes a four-game winning streak against the Longhorns in 2015-18. You could credit talent like Mason Rudolph and James Washington for most of those victories, but even in a rebuilding year in 2018 with Taylor Cornelius at quarterback the Cowboys upset then-No. 6 Texas 38-35 in Stillwater. Heck, even last season’s 7-6 OSU team at least beat the Longhorns before losing five of its last six games.

“I would rather go into this game with some success over the history than go into this game and have been 0-16 against them, unless you just wanted to play the odds and think eventually we were gonna win,” Gundy said at Monday’s press conference.

OSU was actually pretty close to that mark at 2-17 when a Gundy coached team finally did take down the Longhorns. And a team led by Gundy probably hasn’t been as doubted as much going up against Texas since until now.

“These are new teams,” Gundy said. “Particular with the [transfer] portal now, next year’s team won’t really be this year’s team because there will be so many changes, I’m guessing. And this year’s team doesn’t tie in a lot to the teams that we’ve had two and three and four and five and 10 years ago. I want them to prepare.

“I cannot answer that question for them, but I would think [recent success] would help to give them some confidence.”

On the other shade of orange, Steve Sarkisian hasn’t beaten OSU since taking over, as the Pokes have won the last two matchups. Nor has quarterback Quinn Ewers, who threw three interceptions last season.

But the Cowboys are 10-8 since that last meeting while somewhat stumbling into this championship game. Texas is 14-4 since and was picked as the favorite to win this league before the season kicked off.

Even so, in a time Texas is leading the charge of dismantling conferences and college football traditions, history still matters.

“Obviously Texas is playing at a very high level right now,” Gundy said after beating BYU and cinching this championship matchup. “Texas has good players, has great players — have always had them. They play at a high level. They’re not an easy team to play.

“But I like my team.” *Gundy takes a sip*

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