Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy has been doing his thing in Stillwater for awhile now. Long enough in fact that we can look back during the last decade and admire quite a bit of work.
During the past 10 years, Gundy and OSU have racked up a 93-36 record, with one game still to go. It’s by far the most impressive decade in OSU football history. But, as we know, not all wins are created equal. So in honor of the decade coming to an end, let’s look back at the 10 best wins out of those 93.
No. 10 - 2017 Iowa State
OSU 49 - ISU 42
During the last few years, the Cowboys and Cyclones have had a few close, back-and-forth games, with OSU coming out the victor for more often than not. For three years in a row, the Cyclones had a lead in the fourth quarter of their games against OSU. All three years in a row, the Cowboys walked away victorious.
None though, were as sweet as the final of that three-year run, when Mason Rudolph threw touchdown passes on back-to-back drives to give OSU the 49-42 victory. The game wasn’t sealed until the “controversial” interception with 0:32 left.
Iowa State fans STILL get pissed about that one. I revel in it.
No. 9 - 2016 West Virginia
OSU 37 - WVU 20
The Mountaineers entered the game undefeated and ranked No. 10 in the country. They left Stillwater with their first loss of the season. No this wasn’t a great WVU team, but considering the start the Cowboys had to the season — 5-2 with losses to Central Michigan and Baylor — it’s not like this was a guaranteed “W” entering the day.
But after the Mountaineers took a 10-6 lead early in the second, the Cowboys never really looked back. A touchdown pass from Rudolph to Chris Lacy put the Cowboys up 13-10 at the 8:26 mark in the second quarter and OSU never trailed again.
More than the win, this was Gundy’s 100th victory as the head coach of Oklahoma State.
Knocking off an undefeated team, at home, on Homecoming weekend, to earn your 100th victory as the head coach at your alma mater? Seems like a pretty big victory to me.
No. 8 - 2018 West Virginia
OSU 45 - WVU 41
Speaking of big wins over WVU. Arguably Dana Holgerson’s best WVU team built up a 31-14 halftime lead. That wasn’t going to be enough.
OSU outscored the No. 9 Mountaineers 31-10 in the second half, including putting up 21 fourth-quarter points.
Understand how ridiculous this outcome was; with 2:55 left in the game, ESPN game WVU an 85 percent chance to win. Or maybe it just shows how ridiculous it is to put win-outcome percentages throughout a game.
Seriously, that 2018 team was just so weird. Its lows were some of the worst of the Gundy era. But its high points were fantastic. There is no reason OSU should have beaten a ranked team in 2018. Yet, they did. Multiple times (more on that in a moment).
No. 7 - 2015 TCU
OSU 49 - TCU 29
The 8th-ranked Horned Frogs, coming off an historic 2014, had high hopes for a repeat season. Those dreams really died in Stillwater. OSU took a 7-0 lead on a deep Rudolph to Washington pass in the first quarter, and never looked back.
The Cowboys never trailed in the game. While it looks like a dominate performance, OSU was actually out-gained 663-456 and had only 81 yards on the ground. OSU won thanks to the defense forcing four turnovers
Any win this dominate over a team as good as that TCU one, gets to end up on this list.
No. 6 - 2015 Cactus Bowl
OSU 30 - Washington 22
After winning Bedlam they may have saved Gundy’s job, OSU emptied their bag of tricks against a Washington team whose defense was loaded with NFL guys.
This game also gave us one of the greatest OSU plays and highlights of the Gundy era; the James Castleman run.
The 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive tackle had never touched the ball on offense, yet got one 48-yard catch (seen above) and a one-yard run.
Yes, those were paint chips that flew off of his helmet.
Considering how rough the 2014 season was, to finish it off with a win in Bedlam and a bowl win over a favored 8-5 Washington team, was one of the best endings to an OSU season ever.