Oklahoma State’s Big 12 title hopes took an early hit on Saturday after being upset by TCU on home turf. For many fans in Stillwater, it was an afternoon punctuated by heartbreak and shock at Boone Pickens Stadium.
USA Today’s Dan Wolken ranked Oklahoma State as one of five teams that are “too shocked to be miserable” in the latest college football misery index on Sunday.
“It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. If the Cowboys were going to go down in the Big 12 this year, wasn’t it supposed to be against Oklahoma? Maybe at Texas? But losing at home to TCU, 44-31, is a real gut punch after this team had rolled up big scores on everybody the first three weeks and looked like a real playoff contender.” – Dan Wolken, USA Today
Oklahoma State’s loss more came as more than a surprise to fans and experts alike entering the Week 4 contest. Oklahoma State had scored at least 44 points and won by 35 points in each of its first three games before scoring just 31 against TCU.
After all the build-up for an Oklahoma State-Oklahoma game that could feature two undefeated teams, the focus has now shifted to Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs after TCU entered the top 10 in the AP Top 25 rankings. The Cowboys, meanwhile, fell all the way No. 15.
The Cowboys weren’t alone in the category following their 44-31 loss to the Horned Frogs. Vanderbilt, Temple, Boston College, and Florida (despite being undefeated) were also categorized as “too shocked to be miserable.”
Big 12 title and playoff hopes dashed?
Even with the loss, Oklahoma State is far-fetched from being out of contention when it comes to the Big 12 title race. The Cowboys could earn the right to play in the Big 12 Championship game if they run the table, and quarterback Mason Rudolph can’t be dismissed from Heisman talk just yet after blowing opponents out of the water in the first three weeks of the season.
Alas, Oklahoma State will have to play its best football yet and need quite a few bounces to go their way if they intend to still be in the running for a bid to the College Football Playoff. A Big 12 title is now all but a must for Mike Gundy and the Cowboys if they want to be playing in Pasadena or New Orleans on New Year’s Day, and even then, Oklahoma State will likely need help from a few other teams to fight their way in.
At the end of the day, the sky hasn’t fallen in Stillwater just yet. But the margin for error will be near zero for Oklahoma State moving forward this season – and that is all too apparent for players and fans alike.
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