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Porter: Oklahoma State 2018 Season Superlatives

Best play, weirdest stat, worst decision and more.

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If there was a season season superlative, it would be that 2018 was the weirdest season or hardest season to figure out in the Gundy era. But I wanted to dig a little deeper than that and find the moments, players, games and stats that popped throughout 2018. As has been pointed out by pretty much everyone, it was a wild three-month ride for OSU folks, which means we have plenty to discuss. Let’s jump right in.

Best Play

No sense in prolonging this one. The good news (?) is that there are plenty to choose from. If I was being snarky I would pick the fake fake punt against Texas, but for me, when I think about this season, I think about one run in September that cracked the door to the idea of another 10-win season. Kliff Kingsbury slammed it shut a week later, but as this play and this game was unfolding, anything felt kinda possible.

Best Decision

How about going for two in Norman. Having a pair to go for a pair and end OU’s CFP hopes and (possibly?) Kyler’s Heisman campaign. Man, I loved it. I get the flip side of it and how much time was left, and part of me wants to not like just because of how many people loved it. But Mike Gundy has coached conservatively against for so long that I didn’t even care. He’s been, ahem, as liberal as he’s going to get in the last two years against the Sooners in games with very different stakes, and it’s been awfully refreshing to experience.

Worst Decision

Gundy threatening members of the media that he would revoke their access if they asked his players about Jalen McCleskey. It actually seems even more absurd and comical now than it did in the moment. It also feels like it happened three years ago instead of just three months ago.

Biggest Surprise

I don’t know why anything Kasey Dunn and his receiver room do anymore, but Tylan having a season legitimately as good as anything James Washington posted was a revelation to me.

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There were signs early (if you want to say really early, freshman skill position players playing on offense is usually a sign of greatness), but I’m not sure anybody thought about the Biletnikoff until that Texas game. Superstar.

Biggest Disappointment

It’s not necessarily his fault, but the way Justice Hill finished his career was not ideal. He deserved better than a “hobbles off the field during the middle of a Bedlam loss” ending to what was one of the more remarkable three-year stretches to start a college career in the Gundy era.

Weirdest Stat

OSU as a home favorite from 2005-2016: 48-6
OSU as a home favorite from 2017-2018: 5-5

Best Moment

Is there any question?

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That entire night was my favorite of the season. A lit-up crowd burned on a beautiful Stillwater evening, and Gundy coached his tail off. The lead up to the game that week coming off the bye was more bizarre than … well … Tom Herman, but that first half was probably a dagger in Plan B for the second half of the season.

I’ll never not believe a Plan B was on the table, but Corndog and Co. ended it early and held on late. Also, Tylan flexed all over a Texas team that didn’t recruit him and Gundy made fart noises in the postgame presser. All of this was followed by my personal worst three days of the season, but I’m not here to talk about the past (ok, I am, but not that past).

Best Quote

This exchange with Mike Yurcich after the Kansas State game.

Are you alarmed by what happened here today?

“I expect way more production out of our offense,” Yurcich said.

That makes this more disappointing than typical?

Yurcich: “Unless you’re a masochist.”

Worst Quote

I think Gundy got a little confused at some point this season about the fact that he sits at the very top of an OSU platform and not a Mike Gundy platform. The stuff about being late on your rent is one thing, but the soliloquies on liberalism and snowflakes, while great blog fodder (!), are not things you can envision elite recruiters like Lincoln Riley saying. Regardless of their truth or validity, they’re a little bit self-serving and don’t benefit OSU.

Maybe they benefit Gundy — and maybe he would argue that parents of recruits either don’t care or actually like that kinds of stuff — but the way it was presented felt a little less like a coach obsessed with recruiting at the highest level and more like somebody fed up with society today. That’s fine, but when your entire business model is predicated upon getting the best of future generations, it’s maybe not the greatest idea in the world to categorically burn them down (though as someone who has at times done this on this very site, I can empathize with Gundy a little bit).

Biggest Hit

A tie between J.D. King’s DM here and (take your pick of Tylan crackbacks).

Best Meme

Unfortunately we didn’t get to use it very much, but boy was it prepped and ready for a monstrous season.

Story That Got Too Much Attention

The Corndog of course. I realize we were perpetrators A, B and C, but man I got kinda tired of it by the end of the year. QB1 will always get a disproportionate amount of coverage and analysis, and there were legitimate reasons for us to think and talk about what we were seeing and experiencing (? A GOOD SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR DOESN’T ERASE A MEDIOCRE FIRST HALF), but I’ll be glad for (hopefully?) a few years of stability at the QB position.

Story That Didn’t Get Enough Attention

Oklahoma State created three turnovers in their last six games. That is astounding.

Best Uniforms

Please.

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Worst Uniforms

I’m not a gray hater, but these were not great. Not gray-t.

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I could honestly do this forever. I could go another 2,000 words on so many different things that happened since the start of the season. But there are other posts to write, other things to cover.

One thing I wanted to point to real quick, though — maybe an easter egg of sorts if you made it this far — we’re about to refresh our email list and start sending a shortened version of the Daily Bullets in January 2019. A great way to support us is to sign up for that right here if you aren’t already. More news to come on that in the weeks ahead.

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