Connect with us


OSU Football: Ranking Mike Gundy’s 12 Bowl Wins

Gundy is tied for sixth in college football history with a dozen wins in bowl games.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

A lot has been said over the years of Mike Gundy’s bowl streak at Oklahoma State, but the other side of that is just how successful Gundy has been when he and his team secure that extra game.

The Cowboys have made a bowl game the past 18 seasons, which is ridiculous. There have been close shaves over the years. The Cowboys needed Bob Stoops to punt again in 2014 to secure eligibility, and after four games last season, the streak looked in as much jeopardy that early in a season than it perhaps ever has. But one way or another, Gundy has led the Pokes to a bowl 18 seasons in a row.

Perhaps more impressive than that, he’s won 12 of those games. That ties him for the sixth-most bowl wins in college football history and puts him second among active head coaches behind only Mack Brown (14 wins). There used to be far fewer bowls, so comparing him to old-time head coaches won’t do much, but Gundy has as many bowl wins as Urban Meyer and Dabo Swinney. He has more than Gary Patterson (11), Kyle Whittingham (11), the aforementioned Stoops (10), Kirk Ferentz (10) and Jimbo Fisher (eight).

With it being the dead of the offseason, I thought it’d be fun to go back and rank Gundy’s dozen bowl wins.

12. Insight Bowl against Indiana (2007 Season)

The Big Ten stinks is slowly becoming PFB’s tagline, so it makes sense that we start with a Big Ten foe being OSU’s least-impressive (still impressive, but not as impressive as others) bowl wins under Gundy.

The Hoosiers had no answer for Dez Bryant back in 2007, Gundy’s second bowl game, as OSU beat Indiana 49-33.

Bryant connected with Zac Robinson nine times for 117 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Robinson’s other top targets were Adarius Bowman and Brandon Pettigrew, who combined for nine catches, 113 yards and a score.

This game ended up looking closer than it was, as OSU built a 28-3 lead early in the second quarter and was up 42-17 midway through the third before the Hoosiers made it look a little more respectable.

Robinson earned offensive MVP honors after throwing for 302 yards and three touchdowns while running for another 70 yards and two scores.

11. Camping World Bowl against Virginia Tech (2017 season)

This game clinched 10 wins for the Cowboys for a third straight season but ends up lower on this list because it was somewhat of a disappointing year for OSU relative to expectations.

This was the final game of the Mason Rudolph era, and Rudolph ended up earning MVP honors after he threw for 351 yards and a pair of scores as the Cowboys won 30-21.

James Washington and Marcell Ateman also finished their college careers with 100-yard performances, as Washington caught five passes for 126 yards and a touchdown and Ateman caught five passes for 107 yards.

10. Texas Bowl against Texas A&M (2023 Season)

Gundy’s latest bowl win saw his Cowboys beat former conference foe Texas A&M 31-23.

This one is lower on the list because OSU came into the game with nine wins to A&M’s seven, and the Aggies entered the game with a depleted quarterback room that got only more depleted in A&M’s first series.

Still, it was an impressive win for the Cowboys that topped off Gundy’s eighth season with double-digit wins.

Rashod Owens earned MVP honors by catching 10 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Brennan Presley caught 16 passes for 152 yards. Ollie Gordon ran for 118 yards and a score. Alan Bowman threw for 402 yards. So, OSU’s stars were being stars. All of those guys are back for 2024, by the way.

9. Liberty Bowl against Missouri (2018 Season)

It hasn’t been all that often over the past decade that the Cowboys had a one-year starting quarterback, but that’s what they had in 2018 with Taylor Cornelius.

The season had some high highs, but after three straight 10-win seasons, OSU finishing 7-6 wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as previous years. But Cornelius and Co. were able to put a nice bow on the year that was by topping an SEC foe that had a quarterback who is still playing in the NFL in Drew Lock.

Missouri had a 16-14 lead at the half before the Cowboys scored a pair of touchdowns within two minutes of each other to start the second half. The first was a Cornelius-to-Tylan Wallace pass and the other was a 4-yard Chuba Hubbard run. The Cowboys were able to ride out that cushion and eventually win 38-33.

Cornelius earned MVP honors, throwing for 336 yards and four touchdowns. He also had 21 rushing yards and a catch in the game. Hubbard put up 145 rushing yards and the touchdown. Tyron Johnson had 141 receiving yards and two scores — one being a 46-yard TD.

A freshman Kolby Harvell-Peel made a big stop on a fourth down to close the game.

8. Heart of Dallas Bowl against Purdue (2012 Season)

The Cowboys put an absolute hurting on Purdue in this game, building a 45-0 lead in the third quarter before the Boilermakers finally showed some life. OSU ended up winning 58-14.

This game saw five different Cowboys complete passes: Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh, Wes Lunt, Josh Stewart and Joseph Randle. Chelf ended up earning MVP honors as he wet 17-for-22 with 197 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for eight yards and caught a 1-yard pass.

7. Alamo Bowl against Arizona (2010 Season)

Nick Foles might be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, but he won’t want to remember the Alamo.

OSU entered this game with 10 wins — being the first Gundy-led squad to achieve double-digit wins. Arizona was just 7-5 entering this game, and the mismatch was evident. OSU had a 23-7 lead at the half before beating the Wildcats 36-10.

This was the precursor to the true Weeden-to-Blackmon season of 2011. Weeden had 240 passing yards in this game, 117 of those went to Blackmon, including a pair of scores.

OSU’s defense forced Foles into three interceptions. Markelle Martin returned one of those 62 yards to the house.

6. Cheez-It Bowl against Miami (2020 Season)

In the midst of a pandemic, the Cowboys went to Florida to play a historically great program and punched the Hurricanes right in the mouth.

OSU beat Miami 37-34 after the Cowboys jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.

Spencer Sanders earned MVP honors, throwing for 305 yards and four touchdowns, but OSU fans were probably more impressed by a freshman receiver that day. A young Brennan Presley caught six passes for 118 yards and three touchdowns in his first bowl game.

5. Cactus Bowl against Washington (2014 Season)

The Cowboys almost didn’t become bowl eligible this season, but this is one of the most recognizable bowl games of Gundy’s tenure.

It’s become known as the check engine light game with OSU defensive tackle James Castleman getting in on the offensive action and helping the Pokes to a 30-22 win against Washington.

Castleman opened the scoring with a 1-yard rushing touchdown before later having a 48-yard catch and run.

This game came to be after OSU miraculously beat OU in Norman off Tyreek Hill’s late punt return. The game also helped springboard the Rudolph era, as it was just his third game as OSU’s starter.

4. Alamo Bowl against Colorado (2016 Season)

I remember a lot of the talk going into this game was about how good Colorado’s secondary was. Well, James Washington caught nine passes for 171 yards and a touchdown in a 38-8 OSU win.

Colorado was held scoreless until there was fewer than six minutes to play. Rudolph threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns. A freshman Justice Hill ran for 100 yards and a score. It was OSU domination.

3. Independence Bowl against Alabama (2006 Season)

The one that started it all came against perhaps the most vaunted opponent in all of college football.

This was the last game the Crimson Tide played before the Nick Saban era, as down in Shreveport, the Cowboys earned a 34-31 win against Alabama.

Dantrell Savage earned MVP honors, running for 112 yards and a touchdown. Bobby Reid had 212 passing yards and a touchdown and ran for another 34 yards.

The OSU defense, meanwhile, held Alabama to 276 total yards.

2. Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame (2021 Season)

OSU trailed 28-7 in this game before scoring 30 straight points and beating the Fighting Irish 37-35, capping off OSU’s second 12-win season in program history.

Spencer Sanders had himself a day, throwing for 371 yards and four touchdowns (no INTs) and running for 125 yards. Tay Martin caught 10 balls for 104 yards and three of those TDs.

Malcolm Rodriguez and Devin Harper each had double-digit tackles, with Rodriguez also adding a crucial interception. Kolby Harvell-Peel had a big takeaway.

This season could’ve gone 0ut with a whimper after the monumental Bedlam win and heartbreak in the Big 12 title game, but instead it finished as one of Gundy’s greatest seasons to date.

1. Fiesta Bowl against Stanford (2011 Season)

This season and this game took Oklahoma State from a good program under Mike Gundy to a great one.

OSU beat Stanford 41-38 in overtime in this Fiesta Bowl. It’ll be debated forever whether the Cowboys would have won a national title that year given the opportunity, but looking solely at this game, it has gotten more and more impressive for the Cowboys as the years have drawn on.

Stanford’s roster was littered with NFL talent from No. 1 pick Andrew Luck to Zach Ertz to Ty Montgomery. But the best player on the field that day was Justin Blackmon. Blackmon had none catches for 186 yards and three touchdowns. Goodness.

Brandon Weeden outdueled Luck. Weeden had 399 yards and three touchdowns to Luck’s 347 and two.

All these years later, this is still the defining moment of the Mike Gundy era.

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media