OSU Leads the Nation in Disappointing Conference Losses since 2011

Written by Kyle Cox

I recently came across an interesting stat, care of Statistically Speaking. Check them out. Pretty good stuff there.

As part of their review of Big 12 yards per play stats for 2016, Oklahoma State’s loss to Baylor stuck out as a bit of an eyesore — it did to me too. At the time, the loss didn’t look quite as bad. But as we saw both teams’ years unfold, the result went from puzzling to ghastly.

Baylor followed up the home win over OSU by losing six of their last eight conference games before thumping Boise State in the Cactus Bowl, while the Cowboys rattled off an 8-1 finish including their Alamo Bowl win.

So SS dug deeper and found that since 2011, only 16 times did a team lose to a conference opponent who they finished five or more games the better. This is figured by removing the head-to-head matchup and then comparing the two teams conference records.

Six of those 16 were in the Big 12 and three of those were OSU — the leader in this category.

  • 2011 at Iowa State 31-37
  • 2013 at West Virginia 21-30
  • 2016 at Baylor 24-35

I know. I know. It hurts to tear at old woulds but it’s interesting, if not a little surprising that Mike Gundy’s team is at the forefront here considering his exceptional 80-12 record as a favorite since taking over in 2005.

Iowa State cost OSU a chance at a national championship over the coach who them left halfway through a bowl game. Gut punch.

The West Virginia loss cost them possibly a second Big 12 title in three years. Last year’s Baylor game may have not had the historical ramifications when you consider the Central Michigan debacle they had already endured. But it kept Mason Rudolph winless over Baylor — the only Big 12 team who can boast that claim.

Oklahoma was the only other team with multiple “bad” losses in this metric — 2011 against Texas Tech and 2015 against Texas. In 2012, Kansas State lost to an abysmal Baylor team.

Is this an indictment on Mike Gundy or his staff? Not necessarily. It just goes to show how important each game is. You mess around with a “lesser” team — especially on the road — and things may not go your way.

And unfortunately when it happens to Oklahoma State, it’s seems to cost them dearly.

  • Chris
  • Hal

    I respect this article.

    • Forever 14

      I don’t. Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. To me, it’s just more cheap shots at Gundy because he doesn’t beat OU more often, even though, technically, he’s beaten OU as often or more often than any OSU football coach in 50 years, so there’s that.

      • spokepokes

        The only mention of OU is how they are also bad in this metric….

      • Sad!

        “Cheap shots” at Gundy hahaha. Once again, comparing Gundy to other OSU coaches of a historically atrocious program is laughable. I’m glad that’s your standard. He has won TWO games against ou. It’s not a cheap shot, it is what it is.

  • Forever 14

    Here’s a thought. How many teams had disappointing losses to Oklahoma State since 2011, ones where we were lower or near-same rated? Including 2011, I can name at least two. One, the humiliating beat-down we put on OU in 2011 immediately after we had lost to Iowa State. Two, the nationally-televised, humiliating beat-down we put on Baylor in 2013.

    • Lokeasy

      I’d add Bedlam 2014 to this list. Stoops has to be more than disappointed he elected to punt again.

    • Frank Eaton

      OMG I forgot about that undefeated BU team in 13’… wow did we humiliate them.

      • Forever 14

        Yeah, it was pretty awesome.

      • Levin

        One of my all-time favorites. If I’m having a bad day I’ll go and watch highlights of that game.

      • Pistols Fired!!

        I have only been able to attend 3 or 4 games in the last dozen or so years… and that was one of them!! It could have been 20 degrees colder and I was still warm and fuzzy!!! lol

    • spokepokes

      Can we add 2011 A&M to the list? They went on to suck but were like top 10 pre-season.

      • Pistols Fired!!

        yes… add ’em.

    • Adam M.

      You can also add TCU in ’15.

  • Levin

    It would be important to remember that more wins equals more opportunities to play against teams that finish 5+ games below you. Ok State has won more games since 2011 than any other conference school not named OU.

    Since 2011 Ok State has played 20 games that meet this criterion. K-State has played 14 in the same span. WVU, TCU, and Texas have each played 7.

    • Pistols Fired!!

      It is even more important to remember that ‘clunker game’ avoidance is the only way we ever make the college football playoffs. The games being discussed don’t need forgiveness nor acceptance, just remembrance so as to try to avoid history repeating itself… again. 😉

  • OrangeTuono


  • SeattlePoke

    This just seems like reaching. Trying to make something out of nothing to get more material out. I love the blog and am as guilty of clicking for updates on this site multiple times a day as anyone, but this is a stretch.

  • BBJD

    I’m not sure how anyone can complain about this article. It makes sense all those losses were heatbreaking. If you have paid attention to Oklahoma State the last 6/7 years it has been a wonderful run with a lot of heartbreak thrown in.

    We usually focus on the bedlam losses but these losses actually had more of an impact in someways. This isn’t a bad hateful article in my opinion more an interesting thing that I’d never thought of.

  • Pistols Fired!!

    Glad someone statistically supported that every now and then… we just play too conservatively!! Balls out, Coach, every game all season long, please.

  • brentparkey

    While those losses are all unfortunate, none are all that surprising in context are they?

    ISU was a classic trap game, we played with short prep time, they had a bye as I recall. We had not figured out what we were doing with our QB situation against WVU. Baylor was a totally different team when we played them compared to the rest of the year after the coaches secured their bowl eligibility bonus.

    • Diane Way

      and don’t forget the plane crash…that would have (and had to have had) a tremendous impact on the focus of players and coaches that night (especially against a team you should beat 9 times out of 10).

      • kspokesfan

        Diane, with Weeden at the helm it would have been 10 out of 10 times.

  • OSU Student

    That Baylor game stinks, because when it was played it seemed as if it would be a decent upset if OSU strolled into Waco and won. Then they go down there and lose, as a lot of people were claiming they would, and a day later they’re kicking themselves for having not won it. If that games were played 10 more times, we would have won it at least 7 or 8 of the 10.