STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -Oklahoma State set out this season to win its first Big 12 championship, and made a point to talk about it and show it off with rubbery orange wristbands with it emblazoned in black letters.
But now that's not happening, so the next best thing would be to make sure rival Oklahoma doesn't get there - or to the national championship game.
``It's a pretty big deal, the aggravation of not being able to go because of the stuff that happened,'' fullback Bryant Ward said Monday. ``But being able to knock someone out who could potentially go, it makes you feel a little bit better about the season.''
re, and a win against the third-ranked Sooners (10-1, 6-1) would land them a more desirable destination.
So, unlike some seasons in the not-so-distant past, there's more than just that anti-Sooners motivation coming into this year's Bedlam game.
``We're still working towards our goals of doing something special this year. That's what we set out to do, so it is a big game and another opportunity to play in the big spotlight,'' linebacker Seb Clements said.
But in the grander picture, the Cowboys' biggest splash would be knocking Oklahoma out of the national championship chase just like they did in 2001 when Rashaun Woods caught a touchdown pass in the final 2 minutes for a 16-13 win against the Sooners, who were third in the BCS standings at the time.
Oklahoma is in that same spot again, and a win Saturday against an Oklahoma State team that carries its second-highest ranking ever into the Bedlam game could provide enough boost to edge the Sooners past Texas into second place and a shot at the Big 12 and national titles.
The only time the Cowboys were ranked higher for Bedlam was when they were No. 3 for the 1984 game in Norman, which the second-ranked Sooners won 24-14.
That provides good reason for coach Mike Gundy to want his team not to deviate from what's been working all season long.
rned about Oklahoma State than I necessarily am about spoiling something that Oklahoma's trying to accomplish,'' Gundy said.
``I think it's important that we continue to practice hard and prepare to play this game for all the right reasons and just take care of ourselves and be concerned about Oklahoma State football and not necessarily worried about anybody else.''
While the three games in Norman since the 2001 upset have been blowouts, Oklahoma State has been able to hold its own at home. The Cowboys have outscored Oklahoma 142-131 in the last five games in Stillwater, including two victories.
Oklahoma State's most recent win in the 104-year-old series was a 38-28 victory in Stillwater in 2002, and the last two games in Stillwater were decided by three points in 2004 and six points in 2006. Jason Ricks missed a 49-yard field goal that would have tied it in 2004, and quarterback Zac Robinson's 25-yard pass was tipped away on the final play two years ago.
``I think they know that they just can't come in here and manhandle us and we know that we have just as good a chance of winning as they do now, so it isn't as one-sided and it makes for a better game,'' Ward said. ``We both come in more ready to play, we both prepare harder and I think it gives a better show.''

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