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With Chuba in the Fold, OSU’s Big 3 One of Its Most Exciting Trios Ever

Next year should be a blast.



If offseason football is fueled by expectation and hope (it is), then Chuba Hubbard just dumped a whole can of gasoline onto a smoldering orange flame.

On Monday night Chuba announced that he was returning for 2020, reuniting what should be one of the most dynamic Big 3s in college football next year.

You’ve got the nation’s leading rusher joining a former Biletnikoff finalist in Tylan Wallace — who announced his return two weeks prior — and the electric Spencer Sanders who’s eyeing Year 2 as OSU’s starting QB.

But those three are hardly the first Cowboy triplets intent on setting the Big 12 ablaze. With Chuba’s announcement, and the instant spike in expectations that ensued, I started to wonder how this threesome might compare to some of the all-time Big 3s to come through Stillwater. Since it’s the offseason — and this is an OSU blog — why don’t we rank them?

To narrow things down, we’re sticking to the modernish era (Barry onward) and to trios that were together for multiple years.

6. Zac Robinson | Dez Bryant | Kendall Hunter (2007-09)

When I started writing this post, ranking this group last was the furthest thing from my mind. It just might be my favorite on the list, but the truncated career for No. 1 kept it from reaching its full potential.

Interestingly enough, this group might most closely resemble the one we are all so excited about in 2020. The Spencer-to-Zac comparison has probably been understated, and Tylan is Dez? except that Tylan has potentially 13 more games to cement his legacy at OSU. What I wouldn’t have given for 13 more games of Dez at OSU.

This group will always be remembered through the lens of what could have been, but they were sure as hell fun to watch and I think the 2020 trio will at least live up to that standard.

5. Josh Fields | Rashaun Woods | Tatum Bell (2001-03)

Under Les Miles’ (and Mike Gundy’s) tutelage, this trio filled up the stat sheet in a time before the air raid offense and up-tempo schemes took over the Big 12, which makes the numbers they put up — especially Woods — all the more impressive.

Rashaun was OSU’s all-time receiving leader for 14 years before he was relegated to No. 2, and Josh Fields is still a top 5 passer in school history. Tatum Bell is always underrated when we bring up the list of prolific running backs to come through Oklahoma State.

Most of all, they helped spearhead the renaissance of OSU football under Miles and together won consecutive Bedlams in 2001 and 2002. That hasn’t been done since.

4. Spencer Sanders | Tylan Wallace | Chuba Hubbard (2019-current)

Placing this trio above the two below it will seem like sacrilege to some, and I get it. They are 5-3 as a unit with Power 5 wins over Kansas State and Iowa State. There is also zero chance they win two Bedlams.

But this ranking is as much about what they’ve done as it is about what they can do — and what they can become. Hopefully this triumvirate will live up to its high ceiling. If that’s the case, who knows how much higher they could climb on this list.

3. Mike Gundy | Hart Lee Dykes | Barry Sanders (1987-88)

This one is a bit of a stretch since technically Thurman Thomas would have been in the Big 3 in 1987, but with what this group accomplished in 1988 — and Barry being Barry — I don’t know how they can be left off of this list.

I think it’s easy for those of us who were 4-years-old or younger when Barry won a Heisman, to discount just how good the other two of this threesome were. Reminder: The ? was the starter for just one year.

Dykes was a consensus All-American in 1988 after leading the Big Eight in receiving yards for his third straight year. Oh yeah, and Mike Gundy owned all the record books as a QB at OSU way before they were readily available via Google search.

In fact, Gundy is the only quarterback mentioned in this post to lead his conference in passing yards, completion percentage, passing TDs, yards per attempt, adjusted yards per attempt and passer rating in back-to-back years. Actually, he’s the only one of the group to do that in consecutive years — in a single one of those categories.

Gundy’s 64.8 percent completion rate — before anyone knew what a bubble screen was — led the nation in ’88. Maybe that’s why he looked so confident predicting Joe Burrow dimes in the national championship game.

2. Mason Rudolph | James Washington | Justice Hill (2015-17)

One of the most decorated and accomplished trios ever at Oklahoma State includes the school’s all-time leading passer and all-time leading receiver. Rudolph and Washington teamed up toward the end of 2014 with a huge Bedlam win in Norman and a full head of steam heading into 2015, but the trio (and OSU’s offense) wasn’t complete until Justice Hill arrived.

Hill set the freshman rushing record, which was a big deal for an offense that had been desperately anemic in the running game. He essentially sent a legit starting NFL running back to the bench as a true freshman.

This group put up the most wins of all of these, turning in three straight 10-win seasons while still managing to disappoint fans — with a 10-win season. That’s a testament to just how good they were, but also how much more they might have accomplished.

1. Brandon Weeden | Justin Blackmon | Joseph Randle (2010-11)

This dominant trio reached higher heights than any other on the list and should have played for — and probably would have won —  a national championship. No one will ever convince me otherwise.

Don’t tell me that watching Joe Burrows set fire to the Clemson defense on Monday night didn’t remind of what Brandon Weeden would have done to LSU’s in 2011. With all the accomplishments and accolades, including a two-time Biletnikoff winner and a record-setting QB, I can’t currently put any Cowboy trio higher.





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