A Bedlam Loss That's Tough To Accept

A year ago, those in Orange felt the euphoria and it was great. Well, Bedlam may be better in the eyes of the media, but it is the same for those that play it, coach it, and live it. I saw and felt the extreme pain during a postgame interview with Joseph Randle when he says, "I want to say the right things, but right now I'm hurting so much because we lost this game, and I can't get past that."

In other words, Randle was having a hard time even communicating. Head coach Mike Gundy said it well, the bigger and better you become, the harder it is to deal with these losses. For Cowboys fans who don't play but emotionally invest it is also more difficult because the emotional investment has grown.

"The better your program gets, the more success you have, the more highly regarded you are, the harder it is to lose," said Gundy. "You get in a World Series, a Super Bowl, a state championship game and you lose, it's a crushing blow. And the only reason is because you've taken it to another level.

"For the most part, this program is at a different level, so when you lose these games, it's harder on you. Ultimately for a team and a coaching staff, it cant' be. We have to get ready to play the next game."

Working on that begins Sunday because as I write this the coaches are already reviewing and grading the tape of the Bedlam loss.

You think that isn't one of the lousiest parts of the job of a coach, having to look at each play over and over, grading the players on assignment and effort, grading yourself on the call and the result. After a game like the 51-48 loss in overtime to rival Oklahoma it is gut wrenching.

"It was a heart-wrencher, or a gut-wrencher, or however you want to say it," said defensive coordinator Bill Young, who was also having a hard time expressing himself. "When you lose a game like this in overtime — awful is about the only word that comes to mind."

It begins all over Sunday as by mid-afternoon the coaches will be moving on to Baylor as the work begins to get eight wins, and be in a position to got to a good bowl game. The Cowboys will likely go to the Alamo Bowl where they will on UCLA, or possibly a rematch with Stanford.

The players will need to move on by Sunday night. Many of them were at church Sunday morning, and some may have slept in. But no matter where or what they were doing, they were likely sharing the pain and disappointment felt by Cowboys fans.

While OSU fans are critiquing and analyzing what happened in Norman, and lamenting that it happened, the players have thoughts like these from defensive end Nigel Nicholas and Randle.

"I felt we were going to go out there and get a stop," said Nicholas talking about OU's last drive of the fourth quarter and the overtime. "I just have confidence in our team. But OU did a great job of fighting the whole game, and we just didn't get it done. Got to come back and practice and work hard tomorrow."

"Our job is to go out and score points, regardless of what happens when we're not on the field," added Randle. "We've got to be ready to score every time we get the ball, and we didn't do that. So therefore, I guess we didn't do our job."

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