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Oklahoma State’s top bowl games of the 2010s decade

The Cowboys went 7-3 in the postseason during the decade.

NCAA Football: Texas Bowl-Oklahoma State vs Texas A&M Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State’s 2019 season ended in disappointing fashion Friday night with the Cowboys losing to former Big 12 foe Texas A&M 24-21 in the Texas Bowl.

While the outcome was disappointing, there’s something to be said for owning the nation’s ninth-longest active bowl streak. OSU has gone to a bowl game for 14 straight seasons, or every year since head coach Mike Gundy’s first season. Not just that, OSU is 7-3 in bowl games this decade.

In fact, only 13 programs can claim they’ve made a bowl game every season during the past decade. While I understand fans want to see more wins against Bedlam rival Oklahoma and Big 12 titles, consistently playing in the postseason is something not to be taken lightly.

With that in mind, let’s rank OSU’s bowl games this past decade.

10. 2013 Heart of Dallas Bowl: OSU 58, Purdue 14

I was there on that cold and wet New Year’s Day, drinking to keep myself warm. We had fun, but the weather was awful and the crowd was non-existent. OSU had no business being in a bowl this low on the totem pole. Purdue had no business facing a team like OSU. The score shows a blowout, but it was worse than even the final score indicates. This is like trying to decide where to rank a win over an FCS team.

9. 2010 Alamo Bowl: OSU 36, Arizona 10

This one is this low in part because it was one of the best OSU teams and they got stuck playing a mediocre Arizona team in what is supposed to be a marquee bowl.

Throw in the fact that OSU turned around and played Arizona two games later and the excitement factor for this one wasn’t all that high. The 2010 Cowboys deserved better.

8. 2016 Sugar Bowl: Ole Miss 48, OSU 20

How does a blowout loss to an Ole Miss team that only got to this level by blatantly cheating finish above two blowout wins? Because it was a trip to the Sugar Bowl. I understand the outcome wasn’t great (and can OSU please beat Ole Miss just once?) but a Sugar Bowl is a big deal.

7. 2019 Texas Bowl: Texas A&M 24, OSU 21

I’m not going to allow the anger of OSU’s fanbase and the recency of the loss to affect my opinion of this game. Playing a former Big 12 foe, specifically Texas A&M, in a game in the state of Texas, was great. The fact it was a close game that came down to the final minutes only made it better.

Yes, losing sucks, especially to the Aggies and I would have liked to have seen more Chuba Hubbard in his (potentially) final game with OSU, but this was a fun match-up that just didn’t quite go the Cowboys’ way.

6. 2017 Camping World Bowl: OSU 30, Virginia Tech 21

This wasn’t a great bowl, but it wasn’t a bad bowl. To be honest, it was forgettable. It was the only one I had to look up to remind myself about. Finishing off a disappointing season with a second-tier bowl game against Virginia Tech, in a game that really wasn’t all that exciting to watch.

I don’t have much positive to say, but it being our last game featuring Mason Rudolph and James Washington, makes it finish here.

5. 2014 Cotton Bowl: Missouri 41, OSU 31

This is the last loss of the bunch, but it was easily the most disappointing one. It was a great back-and-forth game that OSU had a chance to win. I wanted to win this one. Alas, a fumble on the Missouri 23 with a minute to go led to a Tigers touchdown that put the game away.

I will always love that improbable 2013 team. A team that swapped starting quarterbacks twice, was led by its defense, and that was a dropped interception away from a Bedlam victory. I wanted this season to end with a Cotton Bowl victory. It wasn’t meant to be, but man was it a good one.

4. 2018 Liberty Bowl: OSU 38, Missouri 33

This is the other OSU bowl game I’ve attended in person, and boy was this one wild. I could argue no game could have more perfectly encapsulated an entire season than this one.

This OSU team went 4-2 against ranked opponents and 3-5 against everyone else. They played a close first half before dominating the third quarter and taking a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter. Taylor Cornelius threw interceptions on the next two drives after OSU got inside Mizzou’s 35, both of which led to touchdowns by the Tigers.

The game came down to a fourth down stop by Kolby Harvell-Peel. The Liberty Bowl may not be a marquee bowl, but it was a fun way to end a weird season.

3. 2016 Alamo Bowl: OSU 38, Colorado 8

Colorado entered the bowl as the Pac-12 runner up, but OSU absolutely curb stomped the Buffaloes. The Cowboys held the Buffs scoreless until the 5:28 mark of the fourth quarter.

I’m not usually a fan of blowouts, but beating a higher ranked Power-5 team that reached their conference championship game in a blowout? That’s something to hang your hat on.

2. 2015 Cactus Bowl: OSU 30, Washington 22

I ranked this as one of Gundy’s 10 best wins of the decade, so of course it’s finishing high.

The 2014 season was disappointing and frustrating, but to end it with a Bedlam victory and a win over a favored 8-5 Washington team with NFL draft picks all over its defense, was huge. It was such a fun game, and the perfect example of what happens when Gundy and OSU empty the cupboard on offense and throw it all out there.

1. 2012 Fiesta Bowl: OSU 41, Stanford 38

Of course this is No. 1. It’s is the biggest bowl game and bowl win in OSU history.

While a more appropriate name for this game would have been the “Consolation Bowl” as OSU should have been playing for the national championship — and honestly, Stanford had more right to be there than Alabama — but it set up for a bowl game for the ages.

Both teams were awesome in a back-and-forth affair that ultimately came down to David Shaw going with a kicker who missed his final two field goals, including a game winner in regulation, over putting the ball in Andrew Luck’s hands.

This is one every OSU fan who watched it will remember forever.