STILLWATER, Okla. —
It may be cliche when Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said tonight’s road game against Bedlam rival Oklahoma is no bigger than any other Big 12 Conference game.
But in all actuality, the next game on the schedule for OSU is quite possibly the biggest.
The Cowboys have never won in Norman under Ford — and in fact have not won at Lloyd Noble Center since 2004. And while Bedlam bragging rights are on the line, the biggest picture falls to the Big 12 standings.
The loser of tonight’s contest on ESPN will fall three games behind league-leading Kansas — and would find themselves mired in a logjam in the middle of the conference standings.
“It would mean a lot to me and the program,’’Cowboy senior guard Markel Brown said.”Coach Ford hasn’t even won there since he’s been here, so it’d mean a lot to this program to get a road Bedlam victory. And more importantly, it’d be another win under our belt and improve to 5-2 in the Big 12 and leave us in a great position for the rest of the season.’’
In order to have a shot at winning the program’s first Big 12 championship in 10 years, winning on the road will be essential for the Cowboys.
OSU has already lost two games on the road this year and has only won a combined nine conference road games the past five seasons — with last year’s 5-4 mark being Ford’s first winning conference road record in five years with the Cowboys.
While winning on the road has been something this squad has been able to accomplish —with the biggest being at Kansas last season — there is still the lingering losses to OU.
“It’s always a battle. That game, it’s a highly anticipated game, everybody is waiting to see it,’’ Brown said. “It’s Bedlam. Everyone brings their ‘A’ game, so it’s going to be a hard-fought game.’’
Jason Elmquist is sports editor of The Stillwater News Press.
OSU AT OU
Tipoff: 8 p.m., Lloyd Noble Center
Records: OSU (16-3, 4-2), OU (16-4, 5-2)
Radio: KXLS (95.7 FM), KNID (107.1 FM)