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Oklahoma State Has Made a Habit of Beating Texas With ‘Worse’ Players



What was the old saying about Eddie Sutton? Something about how he would beat you with his players in the first half and then he could turn around and take your players and give you his and still beat you. That’s sort of the feeling I got when looking at these Oklahoma State-Texas numbers from the last 12 years.

Mike Gundy lost his first five games against the Horns. The fifth was a 41-14 Halloween blowout in which there were only 552 total yards and OSU’s leading receiver was Hubert Anyiam with 62 yards. That was OSU’s 12th loss in a row to Texas.

The one before that, though, the 11th in a row, was a 28-24 slugfest in Austin in 2008 when Texas was ranked No. 1 in the country and Oklahoma State was ranked No. 7. Kendall Hunter had 161 yards, and Oklahoma State had a shot on its final drive.

That was the last time OSU lost in Austin.

Overall Gundy is 5-7 against the University of Texas. That’s not great, but it’s far superior to OSU’s record coming into the Gundy era, which was 2-17. And suddenly, OSU has a chance on Saturday in Austin to do what no team has ever done there: Beat Texas five times in a row in its own house.

Notre Dame did it four times in a row in 1913, 1915, 1952 and 1996. Then it infamously failed on its fifth try to start the 2016 season. The Pokes can upend the Domers at DKR tomorrow morning. It would also be their sixth out of the last eight against the Horns overall.

And they have done all of this, astonishingly, with inferior talent (if recruiting services are to be believed). One of my favorite stats coming into this year is that since Gundy took over, and Oklahoma State went 4-7 in 2005 (the same year Texas won it all), the two teams had the same record: 107-50.

The Pokes have now usurped the Horns by two wins with recruiting classes ranked, on average, about 20 spots lower. Here’s a look at those two teams over the last decade plus, and I threw in OU for good measure.


 Since 2005 Oklahoma State Texas Oklahoma
Average Recruiting Class 33.9 11.6 11.3
Wins 109 107 128
Winning % 68.1% 66.9% 77.6%
OSU Record 5-7 2-10

That’s pretty astounding, and it speaks to the work Gundy and Co. have done in Stillwater with “bad” recruiting classes.

“You know you go back and take a look at some of the guys coming out of high school and you know maybe they’re not four or five star players but they’re seven, eight star players now,” said Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. “They’ve done a great job developing their talent, especially offensively. They’re impressive and they’re explosive.”

Now they’re primed for a fifth in a row in ATX. Will they get it? I don’t know, but I do know there’s a little extra oomph from Texas-born players for this one. Whether that’s legitimate or manufactured, I’m not sure it matters, because it’s real.

“Being from there and really not getting a look ever, the last couple times we played them just showing that they missed out,” said Chad Whitener.

“I’m very blessed to be here and I’m thankful to be here, but it’s always fun to go home and beat a storied program like Texas. We really got to prepare this week and get ready for them because they’re playing with a lot of confidence right now.

“They might not have the record they want but they’re playing with a lot of confidence and they’re finishing games well.”

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