Right now we are celebrating Saturday’s win over Pittsburgh. It wasn’t pretty but it was therapeutic. A victory to help wipe away some of the hurt of the previous week’s controversial loss to Central Michigan.
Now that we’ve got a win, and had a week to digest the CMU loss, it’s time for some perspective.
The loss to Central Michigan was awful, and contained one of the most egregious officiating errors in college football history. By Sunday, after I had sobered up and began to really look at the game, I started to wonder just how bad of a loss it really was. Don’t get me wrong, It was bad; but how bad?
I had a talk with a friend about how to put the game into context with the rest of Gundy’s career. Normally I would compare this loss to others and look at their effect on the season. Since the CMU game was just the second of three games now played, it’s hard to look at it that way. If OSU goes 11-1 and gets left out of the College Football Playoff because of that loss, it’s going to be worse than say, OSU finishes 9-3 and goes to the Russell Athletic Bowl instead of the Alamo Bowl. So I think for now, it’s best to look at the CMU loss as one game. So how does it compare to other losses in Gundy’s career? Take away the impact those games had on the season, and just what they meant on their own.
Here’s how I’d rank them:
- @ Iowa State (2011) - Of course this is the worst. It came just hours after a plane crash took the lives of four OSU family members; OSU basketball coaches Kurt Budke and Miranda Serna, and alumni Olin Branstetter and his wife, Paula. It’s the loss that cost us a shot at the National Title. We knew it as soon as the game was over. That’s not a look at the season as a whole. This game did that. Cowboys lose 37-31.
- #17 OU (12-7-2013) - We were the better team. It’s one of the few times as an OSU fan I could actually say that and not just be a homer. It’s the only year I ever remember actually believing that not only should we beat OU, but that we would. We were the better team that season, on track for our second Big 12 title in three years, and we got Blake Belled, at home. Cowboys lose 33-24.
- Houston (9-13-2009) - What’s worse; losing on a blown call and amazing play to a team we shouldn’t lose to, or getting soundly beat by a team we shouldn’t lose to? The answer is getting outplayed, at home, by Houston. It was a season with big expectations, especially after opening the newly renovated stadium with a win over Georgia the week earlier. The loss was unexpected and crushing. Cowboys lose 45-35.
- @ Troy (9-14-2007) - For those who don’t remember, we trailed 37-7 after the first quarter. I realize that this game came before Gundy really got things going, but this loss was embarrassing. Cowboys lose 41-23.
- Central Michigan (9-10-2016) - OSU won this game. That’s what makes it so bad. We can debate the decision to throw the ball out of bounds all day. That play call should have sealed the game. Roman Richards’ interception should have sealed the game. The refs saw otherwise and gave CMU an opportunity the made the most of. It’s not just that the play never should have happened, it’s that their Hail Mary attempt WORKED! So not only did we get beat on one of the best plays of the year, it shouldn’t have ever happened.
I thought about continuing this list on (and I have the next five games on the list picked out) but I thought this walk down memory lane was enough. The point is, the CMU loss hurts, and it always will. We’ve been through worse pain before, and come out okay on the other side.
So Cowboy fans, what do you think is the worst OSU loss under coach Gundy?