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Why I don’t want OSU to turn into Alabama (or OU)

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DR

A couple of weeks ago I tossed out that I was actually excited that OSU is picked to finish fourth or fifth or sixth or wherever it is picked to finish in the Big 12 poll that you follow.

Somebody in the comments section said something about that being a loser’s mentality — which, who cares what I think, right? I mean if Gundy was saying that he was excited to be losing all these players and not have any expectations then fine, you can criticize but for a blogger kid from Dallas to be saying it…

Anyway, my point in saying that is that I don’t want Oklahoma State to turn into Alabama or OU or Ohio State or any place like that where you play one game a year that’s exciting and then don’t bother showing up for the rest.

The reason I follow college football isn’t because I think my team is going to win a title every season — if that was the reason I’d pick a smaller league and a better team.

The reason I follow college football is because the losses, most of them anyway (the ones outside of Ames) are just nearly as exhilarating as the wins.

One of my favorite games ever is the 2004 Bedlam game when Adrian Peterson had more yards than XLK has pounds and we came thiiiiis close to beating them three out of four times. Seriously, it was one of the best experiences of my college career.

I was sitting with three or four of my closest buddies and we were living and dying on every play. Every snap was like a baby hit of cocaine (or what I presume cocaine is like). We talked about that game for weeks, months even. It was tremendous.

The Thursday night Colorado game, the Texas game in 2008 when they were No. 1, the Kansas State earthquake game, the Stanford game, even the Kansas State game at home in 2012 when Chelf came in at the end — all of these close, terrific games that teams like Alabama and OU don’t often get to play.

Now all of this might sound a little bit silly and I admit that even as I write it, it probably does. But consider that when you’re a fan at Alabama or OU or wherever, getting through the season is a relief. It’s not fun. When you’re favored over teams for six straight years with no exceptions there’s not a lot of fun in that. Just a lot of deep sighing and closing and re-opening of the eyes.

When you light everybody on fire every season that might be cool and might make you feel better about life or give you some stat to talk about at the bar but is the actual game experience — the three hours on Saturday — fun? I doubt it. It’s something, for sure, but I don’t think fun is it.

So if that and the preceding six days leading up to the game are nothing but an exercise in forgone conclusions with the only other outcome being a loss that grinds local businesses to a halt on Monday morning then what’s the point of following along?

If you’re never the underdog then you might as well just pick a casino and root its blackjack dealers on — you’d certainly get your heart broken less.

Now would I mind one singular 14-0 season? No, no I wouldn’t. But if given the choice between being Alabama and being Oklahoma State I’d choose being Oklahoma State every time.

I don’t mind being picked to win the conference every once in a while because that means you’ve got some juice behind what you’re doing but I don’t know that I want it to turn into this joyless 15-week ride every year that only ends when my placekicker wants it to end.

Take this year, though, that first game against Florida State is going to be a blast. Outside of a player getting injured there’s absolutely nothing OSU has to lose. The atmosphere will be grand, a hint of Fall just sneaking around the corner.

Win and you just knocked off The Champs.

Get housed and all of a sudden you’re a fox in the weeds ready to upend the henhouse during the Big 12 season because you’ll have been written off and we all know Gundy’s teams get stronger as the season rollicks on.

If you’re Alabama, though, and you’re playing this game and you lose? Devastation. Fathers walloping their toddlers and mothers drowning in gin on the front porch. All is lost.[1. Except it’s not because you play in the SEC and the SEC gets an automatic berth into the playoff or at least I’m pretty sure it does so all is not lost but I don’t trust Alabama fans to have that much perspective.]

Maybe this is all crazy and maybe I really am a loser and maybe I shouldn’t have this attitude.

But maybe it’s more enjoyable this way, too.

Totally Tickets is your source for Oklahoma State football tickets.

Photo Attribution: USATSI

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