The Cowboy Way
The tradition of Oklahoma State Cowboy Football spans several decades, and boasts one of the nation's top football powers of the 1940's, a rich bowl history that includes many of the most prestigious games in college football, ten conference championships, the 1988 Heisman Trophy, two Pro Football Hall of Famers, and a new commitment to reach even greater heights in the years to come.
Great OSU Moments
1944-1945
Led by Bob Fenimore and Neill Armstrong, Oklahoma A&M was one of America's dominant teams at the conclusion of World War II. Behind the duo, the Aggies posted a two-year record of 17-1 and claimed Sugar and Cotton Bowl victories. During that period, the Aggies outscored in-state rival OU by a combined 75-6 count. Both Armstrong and Fenimore earned All-America honors, becoming the first Oklahoma A&M players to accomplish the feat. The 1945 squad was Oklahoma State's first undefeated team and would finish No. 5 in the Associated Press poll.

Bedlam Streak
The Cowboys ended a losing streak against Oklahoma with a pair of one-point victories over the Sooners in 1965 and 1966. In 1965, OSU got 76 rushing yards and a touchdown from Walt Garrison, and 12 tackles from Charles Harper, in the 17-16 win. It was the first victory for the orange and black in Norman in 20 years. The following year, quarterback Ron Johnson ran for two scores and OSU stopped a two-point try in the last 90 seconds of the win.

Big Eight Champions
The 1976 Cowboys of Jim Stanley earned a share of the Big Eight championship during a 9-3 season. The campaign culminated with a Tangerine Bowl victory over Brigham Young. Critical to the success of the season was a 31-24 victory at No. 5 Oklahoma as Terry Miller rushed for 159 yards and OSU rallied from a 17-14 halftime deficit.

The First Barry
The 1984 Gator Bowl announced OSU's re-emergence on the national stage as ninth-ranked Oklahoma State scored late for the 21-14 win over South Carolina. Quarterback Rusty Hilger found tight end Barry Hanna for a 25-yard touchdown with just 1:04 remaining in the game for the final points. Hanna carried a handful of Carolina players across the goal line to clinch it. The victory capped off the first 10-win season in OSU history and it came in Pat Jones' first year as OSU head coach.

Snow in the Sun
Oklahoma State wrapped up another 10-win season in 1987 with a dramatic 35-33 Sun Bowl win over West Virginia. Thurman Thomas ran for 157 yards and four scores in weather that fluctuated between sunny and blizzard. Despite the offensive firepower, it was Shawn Mackey's tackle on a Mountaineer two-point try with just 1:13 remaining that clinched the victory. Thomas was named the game's MVP in his final contest as a Cowboy. He left Stillwater as OSU's all-time leading rusher.

The Heisman
The greatest individual season in the history of college football came in 1988 and was authored by Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State. Sanders rushed for more than 2,600 yards and re-wrote the NCAA record book as he led the most potent offense in OSU history on his way to the Heisman Trophy. He was joined on the offensive attack by the Big Eight's all-time leading passer and the league's all-time leading receiver (Mike Gundy and Hart Lee Dykes). The 1988 season also marked the third time in five seasons that the Cowboys reached the 10-win mark.

16-13
In one of the most shocking results in Bedlam history and certainly the biggest upset of 2001, the 3-7 Oklahoma State Cowboys knocked No. 4 Oklahoma out of the national title hunt with a 16-13, come-from-behind win in Norman. Rashaun Woods caught a 14-yard pass from Josh Fields with 1:36 remaining for the game's final points. OU was limited to just 220 yards. OSU got a pair of 52-yard field goals from Luke Phillips.

Cotton Encore
Oklahoma State returned to the Cotton Bowl for the first time since the 1940's following a 9-3 regular-season campaign in 2003. The season included a 38-10 win at Texas A&M and a 38-34 come-from-behind victory over Kansas State.

Streak Stopper
When the Cowboys end a streak, they really end a streak. Oklahoma State broke a long dry spell in Lincoln, Neb., during the 2007 season with a resounding 45-14 victory over the Cornhuskers. OSU, which had not won at Nebraska since the early 1960s, has now won three of the last five meetings between the two schools.

Columbia Day
Oklahoma State sent shockwaves throughout the nation with a 28-23 win at No. 3 Missouri in 2008. Missouri became the highest ranked opponent an Oklahoma State team had ever beaten on the road. The victory propelled OSU in the top 10 while improving the Cowboys to 7-0 on the season. The game was made even more prominent nationally as the Tigers figured to be America's new top-ranked team with a win over the Cowboys.

Sept. 5, 2009
Oklahoma State re-dedicated the now-60,218-seat Boone Pickens Stadium with a 24-10 win over No. 13 Georgia in perhaps the most high profile opener in school history. The victory vaulted the Cowboys onto the cover of Sports Illustrated and into the Associated Press top five.

Cowboy Road Show
In 2010, the Cowboys completed their first undefeated road schedule for the first time since 1945. The Cowboys were 5-0 away from Stillwater, including historic wins in Lubbock and Austin that ended dry spells in each city that had lasted since 1944.
 

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Barry Sanders won the Heisman Trophy in 1988, capping the greatest individual season in college football history.
 

Oklahoma State's stunning 16-13 upset of Oklahoma in 2001 sparked a modern renaissance for OSU football.
 

The 2010 Cowboys blazed their own trail, winning 11 games for the first time in school history and capturing a share of the Big 12 South Division championship.
Cowboy Hall of Famers
The National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame features four men from Oklahoma State University.

Coach Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966, following a career that included five seasons in Stillwater. During his years in the orange and black, OSU claimed four conference championships and carved out a 3-0-2 record against state rival Oklahoma. Waldorf would end his career at the University of California with multiple Rose Bowl appearances.

The first OSU player to be inducted into the college hall was Bob Fenimore. Known as the "Blond Bomber," Fenimore led Oklahoma State, known as Oklahoma A&M during his playing days, to new heights. His accomplishments included an undefeated season and a final AP ranking of No. 5. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972. Fenimore was also recently inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.

In 2003, the most decorated player in OSU history, running back Barry Sanders, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Sanders, whose 1988 season remains the greatest in NCAA history, rewrote school, conference and NCAA record books in his three-year career at OSU. ESPN recently selected Sanders as the second-best player in college football history.

Thurman Thomas, the all-time leading rusher in Cowboy history and one of OSU's all-time fan favorites was inducted into the hall in 2008. A two-time Big Eight Conference player of the year, Thomas is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thomas led Oklahoma State in rushing for four-straight seasons and ended his career with 44 touchdowns and 4,595 rushing yards.
 


Bob Fenimore was one of the greatest players in football during the 1940's. He helped lead Oklahoma A&M to Cotton and Sugar Bowl victories.
 
 From Stillwater to Canton
As teammates at Oklahoma State, Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas combined to form perhaps the best backfield duo in NCAA history. And just to prove their point, the two Cowboys took their act to the National Football League, and their road together didn't stop until they were both inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Sanders was immortalized in 2004 with his induction. Thomas joined his former teammate in Canton in 2007.

Sanders and Thomas are two of the NFL's all-time leading rushers and are considered among the greatest running backs ever to play the game.

NFL Career Rushing Leaders
Rank Name Yards
1 Emmitt Smith 18,355
2 Walter Payton 16,726
3 Barry Sanders 15,269
4 Curtis Martin 14,101
5 Jerome Bettis 13,662
6 Eric Dickerson 13,259
7 Tony Dorsett 12,739
8 Jim Brown 12,312
9 Marshall Faulk 12,279
10 Edgerrin James 12,246
11 Marcus Allen 12,243
12 Franco Harris 12,120
13 Thurman Thomas 12,074
 

 

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