Mission: Not impossible

OSU travels to Austin this weekend, but to the surprise of many - State fans may be buying Jenna Bush a round of drinks. The Pokes have the tools to stage an upset.

Austin may be great for music, boating, club hopping and good eats — but there is one thing tourists don't look forward to seeing in the Lone Star State.

Ode to Football. If you aren't a local in Jenna Bush's Austin stomping grounds, then football isn't something to look forward to. Visitors beware.

Luck will have it, if you are visiting Austin for a college football game, then you are part of an entourage that is at least a two-touchdown underdog. It is just reality, no matter which school you pledge your allegiance to.

Which of course, makes the trip rather unpleasant most of the time.

 No one likes losing, but for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, giving way to the University of Texas has become rather common as of late.

 When OSU (2-2) meets the Longhorns (4-0) Saturday, it will be the 17th time the two schools have met in the series history. Texas has prevailed in 14 of the previous 16 meetings. Until the Big 12 Conference was formed, the face-offs between the two teams were sporadic.

 The last time the Cowboys were victorious over the burnt orange came during the 1997 season at Lewis Field. However, the last time OSU (then Oklahoma A&M College) won in Austin — "Casablanca" had just won an Academy Award, DNA had just been isolated by scientists, Franklin D. Roosevelt was president of the United States, World War II was winding down and a first-class stamp cost a mere three pennies.

 Nothing like a few stats to sober up a group of psyched tailgaters, huh?

 Also that year — 1944 — Army won the NCAA National Championship. My, have times changed.

The Cowboys better hope the outcome in 2002 doesn't match those of the last four consecutive meetings with the 'Horns.

While we watched Fields and his offensive crew perform without flaw in the first half against Southern Methodist, the comparison of OSU's latest two foes ends with the listing of their home state. SMU and UT are both located in Texas. The buck stops there. Research indicates there are no more likenesses between the squads.

Folks, there is a reason Texas is ranked only a hair below Miami in the Associated Press poll. They are good. Simple as apple pie, Clyde. Those kids got the stuff that makes teams great.

Who knows? Maybe they won't live up to the hype, but for what it's worth, the 'Horns have an "A" game for now.

Cedric Benson, Roy Williams, Sloan Thomas, Cory Redding and the reincarnate of Phil Simms are among the best in the nation at their respective positions — but they aren't immortal.

 OSU proved to itself in games against UCLA and SMU that the talent is there. Offensively, defensively, and in special teams — the keys to winning football games lies within. If the Cowboys can curtail the Simms-Williams-Benson party, they have a chance. Defensive coordinator Bill Clay has the opportunity to emerge as an orange-clad hero with an efficient showing by his defense.

Fans should take consolation in the fact Fields, Rashaun Woods and the three amigos at tailback will get their jobs done. The offensive line will continue to protect its prince like in games past, and the points will come. The potential for the OSU offense is unlimited, if they don't have to spend the entire game scrapping from behind.

Texas can be beaten. They can be upset. Whether or not OSU is the team to complete the task is up to their ability to play out the talent they possess at nearly every position. It isn't easy beating a team in the Top Five; however, the same Cowboys proved last November in Norman that it isn't an impossible mission either.

The seniors who take the field for OSU Saturday have never tasted sweet victory versus the Longhorns.

And, if you happen to pass a random player on the street this week, remind him of one important four-digit combination in the history of America and Oklahoma State fans, too.


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