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Oklahoma State Suddenly in a Good Spot Heading Down the Stretch

OSU is back to fighting for a 10-win season rather than bowl eligibility.

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After the Cowboys’ loss against Baylor, it seemed that 2019 would be the second straight season Oklahoma State was fighting for bowl eligibility rather than the accustomed 10-win season.

But here the Pokes are after their 34-27 victory against TCU on Saturday, still within a puncher’s chance at double digit wins. The win against the Horned Frogs marks the first time OSU has won consecutive Big 12 games since October of 2017. The win also puts OSU at 6-3 with three regular season games to go before a 14th straight bowl appearance.

The next two games are quite favorable to the Cowboys, as well. Kansas and West Virginia are at the bottom of the Big 12 standings. OSU will host Les Miles and Kansas on Nov. 16, after an OSU bye week, and travel to West Virginia on Nov. 23. Wins in those games would put OSU at 8-3 heading into a Bedlam game in Stillwater.

Although those Kansas and West Virginia games look like wins on paper for OSU, seemingly nothing has come easy in the Big 12 this season. Pandemonium broke out last weekend with underdogs winning all four conference games.

The Cowboys aren’t immune to the league’s madness either. Three teams have only one conference victory at this point: Kansas, West Virginia and Texas Tech. Tech’s lone digit in the conference win column came thanks to OSU.

But only Baylor has been perfect¬†in the Big 12 to this point, as even the Cowboys’ in-state rival fell last weekend. The Sooners’ loss came against a Kansas State team that OSU didn’t have a problem with in September.

All that’s to say anything is possible for the Pokes down this final stretch. If the Cowboys win out (including their bowl game), they’ll secure Mike Gundy’s seventh double-digit win season.

Surprisingly, Gundy-led teams have only finished with nine wins twice, in 2008 and 2009. In both of those seasons, though, the Cowboys finished the regular season with those wins before falling in a bowl game. Vegas would probably give odds that the Cowboys finish the 2019 regular season 8-4 with a loss to OU. In 14 years, Gundy has never finished the regular season 8-4.

Kansas has sneaked up on teams this season. The Jayhawks forced Texas to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired and beat Texas Tech this year. Les Miles will likely throw the kitchen sink at the program he used to run in two weeks.

After beating Kansas to start the year, West Virginia hasn’t put up much of a fight against anyone before Thursday. The Mountaineers lost to Baylor, the Big 12’s lone unbeaten team, by a field goal and in Waco no less.

So, with how inconsistent OSU has been over the past few years, these final games seem far from locks. That inconsistency also brings some high highs, though, so anything can be possible in Bedlam.

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