With a win over Texas, Oklahoma State moved up in the rankings from #12 to #10. OSU moved pass two SEC schools in South Carolina, who had a close win over the University of Florida, and Texas A&M, who was inactive this past weekend. Other notable changes in the rankings include Baylor moving up to #4, making OSU vs. Baylor a top 10 matchup, and Stanford falling all the way to #9 because of their loss to the USC Trojans.
Here's a link to the full rankings in case you are curious. (Spoiler-The computers do not like OSU that much)
How big Saturday's game is cannot be understated. If OSU wins, all that stands in the way of a Big 12 Championship and a Fiesta Bowl bid is OU, who hasn't exactly looked great in recent weeks. Plus, Bedlam will be in Stillwater this year. A win this weekend will crush Baylor's title game aspirations faster than Mike Shanahan killing RG3's knee, which I doubt would seriously upset Cowboy fans.
A loss to Baylor isn't the end of the world, as OSU would likely land in the Cotton Bowl against the SEC #3, which could be any number of teams. Depending on which projections you look at, Mizzou, LSU, or Texas A&M could be OSU's opponent. However, Baylor would most likely pass up tOSU to #3, giving them a decent shot at the National Championship game. They would need either Alabama or FSU to lose, which at this point, an Alabama loss is more likely. Alabama still has the Iron Bowl against #6 Auburn and the SEC Championship game, which will most likely be against #8 Mizzou. I can't decide if I'd rather have Alabama or Baylor in the NCG. Both situations sound quite a bit like Hell.
A loss to both Baylor and OU would be rather disappointing at this point. OSU would likely land in the Alamo Bowl against the Pac-12 #2. I will say that if someone had told me after the WVU loss that the Alamo Bowl was OSU's worst case scenario, I would have thought you were crazy. The transformation of this offense has been rather remarkable. It's like Gundy and Yurcich finally realized that they weren't going to be able to air it out effectively with Walsh or Chelf this year.
Here's a chart that shows the rushing and passing attempts per game this season.
|Opponent||Passing Attempts||Rushing Attempts|
As you can see, the team's focus changed quite a bit starting with the ISU game. That game marks a significant point in our season as that was the first game where Roland received the majority of carries, and Chelf received the majority of snaps. Starting with the ISU game, 58.6% of our offensive plays have were running plays compared to 46.3% in the games prior to ISU.
The coaching staff deserves an enormous amount of credit for the adjustments they've made during this season. I can't imagine it's easy to change the identity of an offense halfway through, but that's exactly what Yurcich and Gundy did. By the way, Yurcich's play calling has been very good since this team found its identity. His ability to use Chelf's feet has been quite the revelation, at least for me. This isn't your typical OSU Air Raid offense; it is more of a ground and pound that will go as far as Chelf and Roland can carry it. I'd never thought I'd see the day where OSU was carried by its running game and defense. We must be stuck in an alternate universe or something.
Anyway, this wasn't the initial point of this article, and I'm sure it's summarizing the obvious, but I just wanted to touch on what I think has been a rather remarkable change to this team, and a reason why we are in such a good position in the final weeks of the season.
With College Gameday coming for a top 10 matchup that has major BCS and Big 12 implications, the chance of snow this weekend, and the Memphis vs OSU basketball game tonight, this has a chance to be one of the biggest, craziest weeks in Oklahoma State's history. I, for one, can not wait.