Cowboys Football: Top 10 Moments Of 2013

I'd like to say these are in precise order but I can't. If Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy gave out his top 10 they likely wouldn't match, if not in actual events then certainly in the order they are presented. That would be the case for each of every Cowboys fan. Picking out the top 10 moments from a season can be a very personal activity. These are mine and my order.

Consider this a homework exercise where you can come up with your top 10 as you select the order and then replay with your thoughts. Your list is every bit as valid as my list. I've got a feeling about a couple of entries that will go much higher on some of your lists than they are on mine.

1. Nov. 23: No. 9 OSU defeats No. 4 Baylor, 49-17
It ranks number one for me because I honestly believe this was the best moment of the season. It was a mammoth stage with the ABC Saturday Night crew of Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit in town, along with ESPN's GameDay as well. It was the best game of the season for quarterback Clint Chelf and the best for the defense as well. A premier moment where Oklahoma State was the best team in all of college football on that day.

2. Nov. 16: No. 11 OSU defeats No. 24 Texas, 38-13
Are you kidding me? The Cowboys beat Texas in Austin for the third time in four seasons, this time with the most emphatic win over a Mack Brown-coached team in Austin during his career as Horns head coach. We now know that it will always be the largest losing margin for a Brown-coached Longhorn team at home. I also truly believe that this win may have been the most meaningful for the players. They are the guys that get it done.

3. Oct. 19: Chelf Re-inserted as Quarterback
You could also include the opening game and we do because this is where Chelf lost the quarterback position and J.W. Walsh became the starter. The honest truth is coaches do things for a reason, and the reason Gundy makes changes at quarterback, more times than not, involve ball security. If you can't be careful with the ball then you can't play quarterback for Gundy. It is the similar effect that fumbles had on Les Miles when he coached the Cowboys, and the truth is those have a big impact on Gundy too. Two interceptions and some bad decisions by Walsh led to Chelf being put back in against TCU, and after being hit and throwing an interception on his first pass, Chelf came on and played progressively better. It was a key component to the second half of the season.

4. Oct. 26; Roland Emerges as Flagship Running Back
Jeremy Smith is a senior who has done so much for Oklahoma State. I have the deepest respect for the tough guy. He's a responsible individual, and hard downhill runner, but it wasn't happening for him. Roland earned his first start against Iowa State and went nuts. He had shown signs of being productive, but wasn't getting bulk carries. In Ames, Iowa, he did get those bulk carries and responded with 219 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries.

5. Around Aug. 13: Devin Davis Out for Season
Here is your forgotten moment as the man slated to start at left tackle, Devin Davis, took a shot in a team drill and tore the ligaments in his knee and was lost for the season. It would take the better part of six games and a 30-21 loss at West Virginia, where the line malfunctions played a key role, before the Cowboys would have the offensive line anywhere near the proficiency of where offensive line coach Joe Wickline would prefer.

6. Dec. 7: Bedlam, No. 15 OU 33, No. 6 OSU 24
This might be higher for a number of you because I know some look at negative and dwell on it more than positive. There is no doubt, this game was one of two that cost this team the Big 12 championship. Actually, I would say this is the game alone that cost the Cowboys. I say that because I look at a season as a book with each game as a chapter and each event helps shape the future. The West Virginia loss helped shape future success which actually gave the Cowboys a chance to win the Big 12. The only success that can come out of Bedlam is a hunger to win the Cotton Bowl and finish this season on a positive note.

7. Sept. 28: West Virginia Upsets No. 8 OSU, 30-21
The West Virginia loss stands as a negative on the season, although it did provide the emphasis and motivation for everybody involved with the program to evaluate their performance and effort. I believe it caused the team to get better. Players will remember the trip to Morgantown, W.Va., and may approach that road trip more prepared in the future as it is a very interesting atmosphere to play in.

8. May 9: Wes Lunt Decides to Transfer
This happened well before the season, allowing the responding changes to be made. Lunt is not as strong mentally as Clint Chelf, at least at this stage of his career. He doesn't have the leadership attributes of J.W. Walsh either. My hope is Lunt develops both to go along with his good football mind and terrific arm. I like this young man and my hope is he quits listening to some of those around him and moves on as a college quarterback. He has lots of attributes and can be great. His absence caused the Cowboys to re-define their offense.

9. Aug. 31: No. 14 OSU Opens Season With 21-3 Win Over Mississippi State
Chelf only played seven plays in the season opener. Chelf, for whatever reason, wasn't as sharp early as he would be late. Walsh came in and with his combination of running ability and his passing accuracy led the Cowboys to a 21-3 win over Mississippi State in the Texas Kickoff Classic in Houston.

10. Multiple Dates, Changing of the Coordinators
Bill Young was out after the 2012 season and Gundy knew he was going to go with Glenn Spencer. Spencer handled the change so well with paying tribute to Young, who he had learned much from. He combined what he knew previously and what he learned with such a strong player first mentality. Spencer fed his players everyday and not just football as he became involved in their everyday life. The bond between defensive players and coordinator and staff grew exponentially. The defense turned out to a more aggressive nature and everybody was on board. It was so impressive to watch the process. Gundy hired little known (outside of Pennsylvania) Mike Yurcich as offensive coordinator. Was there more of a transition period for Yurcich and the offense? The answer is absolutely, and it was on multiple levels ranging from the loss of Lunt to the loss of Devin Davis on the offensive line. Yurcich was at a new level and he had progress to make. I do believe that Yurcich is an outstanding offensive coach and combined with Gundy, who many NFL folks admire for his abilities as an offensive mind and coordinator, the future will be good with both involved.

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