|A year after Gundy's rant, Cowboys eye Top 25|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 23 September 2008 07:04|
Word of what Gundy did buzzed through the Internet and YouTube. Then television networks got hold of the ``I'm a man! I'm 40!'' clip and played it over and over again.
The outburst spawned countless spoofs of Gundy standing in front of a bright orange backdrop and pointing his finger angrily at a newspaper columnist. The postgame tirade lingered as the lasting image of Oklahoma State's season.
Those 3 1/2 minutes came at a pivotal time for a team now on the rise. But exactly one year later, what impact, if any, did they have on the Cowboys, now knocking on the door of the Top 25?
l history, was replaced at quarterback by Zac Robinson, and Oklahoma State flopped in a 41-23 loss at Troy.
The criticism and questions followed. A column by The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson set off Gundy after a 49-45 win against Texas Tech last Sept. 22. Gundy spent his entire postgame news conference defending Reid and discussing the article, even holding it up while he stood at the podium.
Robinson, fresh off his first big victory, became the starter and went on to set a school record for total offense in a season. Reid transferred to Texas Southern after the season and later spoke of how he was hurt by Gundy's comments.
The Cowboys finished 7-6 and won back-to-back bowl games for the first time in 19 years. Now they're 3-0 and just outside the Top 25. Gundy and his players have downplayed the effect of the commotion after the Texas Tech game.
``We knew that it went on, in the back of our heads,'' Robinson said. ``We knew what happened and all that but it didn't change us, the way we played, at all.''
nator Tim Beckman's schemes.
``I don't think there's any question that we're more settled with where we're at as a team than where we were a year ago,'' Gundy said.
Linebacker Seb Clements believes the game itself against Tech may have been more important than Gundy's comments afterward. After the blowout loss at Troy, the Cowboys were able to even their record at 2-2 and start Big 12 play on a positive note. The offense, which had sputtered in Robinson's debut against Troy, showed it could keep pace with Texas Tech even as Graham Harrell threw for 646 yards.
But afterward, everyone seemed to be focused on Gundy.
``I think a lot of focus was put on that instead of on the team because we had just had a great win,'' Clements said.
Lately, the Cowboys are providing more reasons to pay attention. They've won four straight for the first time since Les Miles departed for LSU and rank fifth in the nation in scoring average (50.7) and total offense (546 yards).
It's only when someone brings up the rant that players even think about it.
``We've kind of forgot about it, to be honest,'' Robinson said. ``It is what it is. It was talked about by the media for a while, but we didn't handle anything different as players. We just went about our business, just worried about winning football games.''