Forget all else for just a minute and go back to Saturday night and picture what they would have looked like on national television. My good friend and outstanding Fox TV college football analyst Charles Davis would have been accurately saying how embarrassing this was for Oklahoma State.Instead, what he was actually saying in the broadcast was Oklahoma State appeared to find its quarterback of the future in the talented Rudolph. By the end of the night, the misguided columnist that only 24 hours or more earlier was advocating the "wildcat" and Tyreek Hill was asking why Rudolph wasn't the rescue earlier. Somebody stop him before he proves the theory on the pen being mightier and stabs himself with one.
Had OSU done something cute and misfortunate instead of the tough decision in bringing Rudolph out of redshirt they would have single-handedly destroyed all the good Oklahoma State football had accomplished in the last 10 years under MIke Gundy and with the fruits of Boone Pickens' and other financial contributions.
The hash tag would have been #OSUgiveupU. Talk shows on ESPN and on radio would have been debating the Cowboys "mail it in" strategy, while opposing school's coaches would have been lining up to remind any player OSU was recruiting that in a tough situation the Cowboys like to "shorten the game" and "minimize the damage" and get on the bus and go home.
Gundy and the Cowboys staff spared the school the ugliness and, yes, made a tough decision to pull Rudolph's redshirt. They found a quarterback that appears to be the future. I certainly will inject my opinion here and say that is the way I see it. They also did something else that counts if you are keeping score that may even go beyond keeping your reputation intact.
Picture TCU head coach Gary Patterson or Ohio State's Urban Meyer watching the game last night. Those two coaches and several others are involved along with Baylor in trying to get into the final four in the first year of the College Football Playoff system. There is no doubt that Art Briles, Bryce Petty and company were looking for a big win and style points to go with it last night in the Waco rain.
A contrived and conciliatory game plan would have helped Baylor do just that. If the media paid attention and acknowledged that is what Oklahoma State did and Baylor won 60 something to nothing, that might have even hurt Baylor. The game has integrity. You cannot go mail it in, run the clock, run the ball, and get on the bus as coaches would do, even a former OSU coach did on a couple of occasions way back in the day. There is an integrity to the sport of college football that all participants count on.
Unfortunately, OSU knows that lesson from a sad Friday night in Ames, Iowa in 2011. Now the Cowboys upheld the integrity on a rainy November night in 2014, and maybe some day they will benefit from that integrity on the part of somebody else in the near future. Some people just don't get it, but that's okay since they are not in a position that can endanger integrity but only falsely challenge it.