Mike Gundy is entering his 12th season as the head coach of the OSU Cowboy with a 94-47 record. I expect him to reach 100 wins this upcoming season. That made this summer the perfect time to look back at all 94 wins and rank them all.
I’ve broken the list down into five parts:
PART 1: Scars, Scares and Stupid Scheduling
PART 2: Some Blowouts, Some Close Calls and a Whole Lot of Meh
PART 3: They’re Not All Pretty, But They’ve Got Great Personalities
PART 4: The Good, The Better and the History
PART 5: The Top Ten
After five weeks and 84 victories we find ourselves at the end. The final ten. The most important games of Gundy’s career so far. Everyone a pivotal point in his tenure. I look forward to any arguments and debates about the games included and the order. So without further ado…
10. #13 Texas Tech (9-12-2005) Gundy’s been breaking Tech’s hearts since year one. It was his first Big 12 win, first win over a ranked team and first of many wins over the Red Raiders (Gundy is 9-2 against the TTU). It was the only Big 12 win in Gundy’s first season, which makes it that much better. Cowboys win 24-17.
9. @ Nebraska (10-15-2007) So many reasons this was a great game. It was OSU’s first win at Memorial Stadium since 1960. It was the Cornhuskers’ worst home loss since 1958. The cue de gra? Tom Osborne and members of the 1997 undefeated National Championship team were sitting and watching. That’s momentous. Cowboys win 45-14.
8. #3 Baylor (9-23-2013) Of course this game is in the top 10. Gameday was in Stillwater. Marcus Smart was the guest picker and chose the Cowboys. Hell, Lee Corse put the Pistol Pete head on, fired the guns (almost shooting Herbstreit’s head off) and we still won! No, we didn’t just win. OSU DESTROYED an undefeated Baylor team on NATIONAL TELEVISON! I don’t know any OSU fan that didn’t laugh themselves silly watching this game. It may be nostalgia, but that 2013 team was something special. Cowboys win 49-17.
7. @ #8 Texas A&M (9-24-2011) Coming back from down 17 points at halftime by scoring 21 straight points in the third quarter is impressive. What was more impressive, and ultimately larger than the game itself, was Glenn Spencer on the sidelines coaching a week after his wife died. I remember the celebration we saw from him after this win. That moment alone would earn this win a high mark. Combine it with the come-back victory? A Cowboy Classic. Cowboys win 30-29.
6. #8 TCU (11-7-2015) I have a hard time not comparing this win with the 2013 victory over Baylor. A blow out win over an undefeated team. The best game of the season. So why is it higher? Because I actually believed this TCU team had a chance at the not only making the playoff, but winning a national title (I never gave Baylor that much respect). Yes, TCU’s top wide receiver got knocked out of game. That doesn’t take away from how bad the Cowboy defense made Boykin look that Saturday afternoon in Stillwater. Cowboys win 49-29.
5. @ Texas A&M (10-10-2009) Hear me out for a second on this one... The team had already disappointed with the Houston loss. Then they lost Dez Bryant to an NCAA suspension and Kendall Hunter to injury. The season felt doomed. I don’t think anyone really believed we would win this game. It took Keith Toston and Beau Johnson providing monster performance for us to win only our second game at Kyle Field since 1983. That’s one hell of a coaching job as far as I’m concerned. Cowboys win 36-31.
4. Fiesta Bowl vs #4 Stanford (1-2-2012) One of the greatest nights ever to be a Cowboy. OSU’s first and only BCS bowl appearance and first win. Great game. It gave OSU it’s first (and only) 12 win season. It was emotional, nerve-wracking, dynamic. The Cowboys took down the best quarterback to be drafted into the NFL since Cam Newton (really, he’s better than Cam). It’s one of the best games and wins in school history. It was also the best game of the bowl season (ESPN voted the title game number one, which was just a joke). Cowboys win 41-38.
3. @ #18 Oklahoma (12-6-2014) Without this win, would Gundy still be the head coach? It’s a serious question. There was talk about problems with Gundy, Holder and Boone. Talk before and a lot of talk after the game that Gundy could be fired. OSU was on the cusp of a losing season and about to miss a bowl game for the first time since 2005.
But Bob punted again, and the rest is history. Oh, and the tri-color uniform curse was broken. Those things are beautiful. Cowboys win 38-35.
2. @ #3 Missouri (10-11-2008) This is Mike Gundy’s most unappreciated and undervalued victory. It completely changed the program’s direction. No realistic fan went into this game thinking they could beat the #3 team on the road. Not because of analytics or comparisons of talent. It was because of history. We had no grounds to believe we had a realistic chance. Now? Even if we have a bad team there’s always the belief in the back of my mind that Gundy could pull it off. That belief didn’t exist before this game. This game is the foundation of that belief. I know most people will probably want the Fiesta Bowl win here. The difference to me, we all believed going in that we could win the Fiesta Bowl. Beating the #3 team in the country on the road in a night game back in 2008? Nope. Cowboys win 28-23.
1. #10 Oklahoma (12-3-2011) Of course it’s this game. Forget Gundy’s career… There is no game in OSU history bigger than this game. A blow out win over our most hated rivals that gave us our first and only (so far) Big 12 title. Nothing will ever top that. (except a National Title) There’s so many great moments in this game I can’t name them all… so I’ll just let you watch them for yourselves. Cowboys win the Big 12 title 44-10.