OSU: Big 12 Champions!!!

I need to apologize for my absence following Saturday night's historic 44-10 victory over Oklahoma leading to the Big 12 Championship and a BCS bowl bid. The rumors of me being drunk as 'Cooter Brown are false, although thanks to super supporter Chad Clay, who was treating many Cowboys coaches, former players, and fans at Louie's in downtown Stillwater, I did raise a celebratory toast.

Chad is one of those many OSU supporters who have put their money where all of our mouths have been or wanted to be over the years and helped raise this program to a new level in facilities so as to attract great coaches who recruit great players.

Earlier in the evening I had personally thanked and shed a tear of joy with the biggest booster of in T. Boone Pickens. But it's not about me. As Mike Gundy told me after our postgame interview on the radio network, it is about us. All of us!

We have cheered or dreamed so long while many of our opponents and detractors have said it could never be done. Sometimes they have brainwashed us, but this season a special group of Cowboys came along.

Although really it's been a special group the last two seasons, and they said, not us. They all said, we are good enough and we are strong enough. Yes, that is a compliment to Rob Glass and his staff. The strength staff has more to do with this than you might ever know, and it's not just lifting weights.

Anyway, as Mike Gundy has said and those of us around them every day have noticed, this group is special. If any group was going to do it, it would be this one.

You could name every player on the team from quarterback Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon to Grant Garner to Levy Adcock to Nick Martinez to Jonathan Rush (and the entire offensive line) to Josh Cooper to running backs Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith to fullbacks Kye Staley and David Paulsen. On defense, the Jamie Blatnicks and Richetti Jones and Markelle Martins, and the younger players from Brodrick Brown to Shaun Lewis to newbies in the lineup like Caleb Lavey and Alex Elkins.

They are all special and they got the job finished and did it in a big way Saturday night.

How solid are those guys? Two people that really struggle with watching Bedlam each and year year, and therefore never attend in person, got in their car early in the third quarter and sped from Midwest City to Stillwater because they wanted to see the bright orange moment for son number one as his team won the Big 12 Championship.

Ray and Judy Gundy struggle with the game that always brands one son a loser and the other a winner. You see, in the eyes of parents all sons are winners. Mike Gundy and Cale Gundy have consistently been winners, but when OSU plays OU it can't be for brothers on opposite sides of Bedlam.

It was Mike's night and the Cowboys night Saturday evening, and Ray and Judy Gundy were going to be there. The proud parents stepped into the OSU Theater Room in the West End Zone moments before MIke walked in for his postgame press conference with the media. It was a parent's proud moment, as it should be.

Somewhere in Stillwater, Shelley Budke was smiling. Gundy received a text frme the wife of late Cowgirls basketball coach Kurt Budke on Friday. It spoke of how Coach Budke had so wanted to be at Bedlam that he scheduled his Cowgirls off the tournament-rich Thanksgiving weekend.

Buit then the Big 12 and TV moved Bedlam to Dec. 3, which also happened to be when the Cowgirls were scheduled to play at Indiana for the Big 12-Big 10 Challenge. It spoke of how Kurt wanted to see the Cowboys win this and how proud he was of Mike and the football program.

Shelley Budke's text offered Gundy advice of being confident and doing it his way; the things a coach's wife tells a coach. Shelley Budke couldn't help herself. These are things she would pass along to her husband so many times over his successful career.

They are the same things that touched Mike Gundy and made him realize what all of this meant -- it's about us! It is so much about Shelley Budke, Ray and Judy Gundy, and every soul that has sworn to love and support Oklahoma State over the years. It's about those coaches, players, their wives, their families, and the broad OSU family, which is all of us, you and me.

From Brodrick Brown stealing the ball out of Jazz Reynolds' grasp in the end zone for a touchback, to Alex Elkins punishing OU quarterback Landy Jones on the rush and the ball coming out of his grasp from Jamie Blatnick to scoop and nearly score, to Weeden to Blackmon 10 times, to the Randle and Smith touchdown runs that followed .. it is because of all that all OSU Cowboy football fans celebrate and hold our heads up higher than ever before.

Our team no longer sits in the backseat in college football, we are now front and center.

As for me, I was quiet last night. I thought I would hoop and holler. I thought I would look for OU fans to rub their noses in it. By the way, read Bob Stoops postgame comments. For a cocky coach, who has many times had the right to be, he was tremendously classy in defeat.

You remember the cheesy NASCAR movie, "Days of Thunder." At the end of the movie, the star, Cole Trickle, played by Tom Cruise wins the race driving for his former rival and friend, who is ill. He went back to his old crew chief, Harry Hogge, played by Robert Duvall. Trickle walks over Harry, who is sitting on the pit wall, and ask what's wrong as Harry just sits there expressionless. Cruise (Trickle) says, "Say something, will you?" Duvall (Harry) says, "I really can't. You didn't know how this was going to turn out. It's like you said, there's nothing you can't do in a race car."

There is nothing this football team can't do, and they have proved it -- REALLY PROVED IT -- on Saturday night.

In that movie, Cruise (Trickle) explains they won and Harry should be happy. Duvall's character says, "Cole, I don't know how to feel." Cruise's character says, "I'll race you to victory lane." Harry gets up and takes the lead and the movie ends with two foot racing down pit road.

Cowboys fans, I'll race you to the BCS, but we don't have to do it all on foot. We are way past pit road and have seen our own checkered flag.

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