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The 2014 Texas-OSU Game Parallels are … Frightening

College football is big business and OSU’s stock is plummeting.

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“I have a lot of confidence in where we’re at,” said Mike Gundy. “It’s my responsibility to see who we are, see where we’re at, get the guys to play hard and keep everybody together. So I have a pretty good feel for most things that are going on. People would want you to panic, get upset and show frustration and anger, but I just don’t believe in that.”

“We have a pretty good idea (of where we need to improve) because we see those areas in practice all the time.”

Mike Gundy after getting beat 31-12 in Manhattan last Saturday? Nope. That’s Mike Gundy after getting beat 28-7 at home against Texas in 2014.

Here’s Mike Gundy after getting beat 31-12 in Manhattan last Saturday.

“I know what’s going on … I think … I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Gundy later in his presser. “I have a pretty good idea of what’s going on and the direction we need to go.”

“It’s not alarming at all,” said Gundy. “We prepare the same week for every single game. It’s no different. It’s been that way for 14 years. We do the same thing. We go to work, we put a game plan together, get guys ready to play and go play. If we were ever to start to get alarmed, then it would make it a lot worse. That’s what our guys do.”

Different year. Different opponent. Same words. Same dubious future.

October 24-29 of 1929 thinks the trajectory of this Oklahoma State football team is bad. A spotty offense. A disinterested defense. A coach that knows his team doesn’t have the goods (or doesn’t know how to produce them?). A schedule that portends doom.

The parallels to the other No Good, Very Bad Year (2014) of the modern Gundy era are honestly kind of startling.

I started noticing them when I realized that we could get a scenario over the next few weeks in which Taylor Cornelius starts a game for the final time against Texas at home in what could be a miserable affair. Then they could go on the road in November to Baylor with a highly-regarded true freshman QB trying to rescue a season that’s fully on tilt. Does this sound familiar?

Both the 2014 team and this 2018 team reached a high-water mark ranking of No. 15 in the country. Both teams got shellacked at Kansas State to drop within one game of .500 the week before the Texas game. Both teams had Baylor the week following Texas. Both teams looked destined to miss a bowl for the first time since 2005.

This team’s timeline might be a little faster, though (maybe that means its uptick will be even more impressive?). The infamous 2014 Texas game I keep speaking of? Well, this season’s version may have already taken place. OSU’s 31-12 whacking on Saturday in Manhattan produced …

  • 311 yards
  • 15 first downs
  • 184 passing yards
  • 12 points

What do all of those things have in common? They’re all the fewest produced in their given category since November 15, 2014. That’s the Texas game. The one before Mason Rudolph played the part of Moses and parted I-35 between a Baylor loss and a win in Norman which sparked the rest of his career and a 30-wins-in-3-years resurgence for the Pokes.

Enter Spencer Sanders (or Dru Brown)? Pressure is mounting for OSU to play one or both of their backup QBs, and that’s where it could (could!) get fun. A disastrous 2014 suddenly turned into an optimistic offseason with a QB you could dream on and Gundy riding high again. That seemed like an anomaly, though. So does history repeat itself, or does it merely rhyme?

If OSU doesn’t figure out its defense or find its spark or get a miracle 92-yard punt return from the most misused talent in Oklahoma State history a future NFL star then Phillip Slavin is right in this post. The answer to the modern era question of, “is this going to be like ______ again?” will no longer be 2014.

It will be 2018.

And if that’s the case and nobody can steer the ship back in the other direction then what seems like it could be a speed bump could actually be more catastrophic. There’s a lot riding on the path OSU takes out of this slide, and I think (I think) OSU has a star who can get them where they need to go. But I keep coming back to the question nobody wants to consider because its implications for the future aren’t something we want to think about.

What if they don’t?