Falling Off The Horse

By Jeff Lippman - December 19, 2007

The Cowgirls of No. 20 Oklahoma State have had their 8 seconds of fun. The wild bull ride that was their undefeated season is over. The bull gave them the horns. Or I should say, the Horned Frogs.

Eight seconds is the equivalent to the eight wins the Cowgirls owned before juggernaut TCU welcomed them into their Forth Worth home.

I hope you sense the sarcasm. There is nothing juggernaut about the TCU Horned Frogs, just like there is nothing Top 25 worthy about the Oklahoma State Cowgirls, who lost to TCU by 34 points, 97-63.

I won't say that Oklahoma State didn't deserve to be ranked 20th because until last night they were one of only five remaining unbeaten teams. That's still impressive, even if the teams they beat to get to 8-0 aren't even remotely impressive.

At 5-6 and playing in the Mountain West Conference, Texas Christian is probably the best team that OSU has faced this season. The only other team that could be considered close is Air Force, who is also in the Mountain West and is 5-5. At least TCU has played multiple ranked teams - and other than against OSU lost each time.

Combined, OSU's opponents are 37-54 this season. The team with the best record that they've faced is a tie between Lamar and Arkansas State, who are both 6-4.

The point is, the Cowgirls have played exactly no one. They were 8-0 against mediocre competition. They are now 8-1 against mediocre competition.

The Big 12 is still an excellent league with No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 10 Texas A&M, No. 11 Baylor and No. 19 Texas - although I don't know if Texas doesn't fall into a similar category as OSU - but the Cowgirls aren't one of the better teams in this league.

Their undefeated start was simply a case of not playing anyone with the ability to beat a major conference opponent.

Their record will grow too, most likely to 10-1, as the next two teams they play, North Texas and Central Arkansas are a combined 7-13. Oral Roberts is next, a Summit League team who at 7-3 is one of the better teams OSU will have faced to this point. That game is not a gimme for the Cowgirls.

Another sure win should come against 2-6 Texas Southern, but that's where it gets dicey.

If the voters were forced into including a Big 12 team at the No. 20 spot, instead of Oklahoma State it should be their opponent on Wednesday, Jan. 9, Kansas. The Jayhawks are 8-1 also, except they have played - and beaten - some major conference teams like Indiana and Marquette and also a few tournament teams from last year like the Golden Eagles and Hartford.

The Jan. 9 meeting between the Jayhawks and Cowgirls is in Lawrence, Ks. and I really don't expect a close contest. And it won't get any easier after Kansas, as the Cowgirls play Oklahoma, at Texas A&M, at Texas and Baylor all within a month from playing the Jayhawks.

That 8-0 record will seem like a very distant memory by the end of February. If I had to make a guess - and I will anyway - I would surmise that Oklahoma State's record by March 1 will be 15-12, a far cry from a team that right now sits - and will probably continue to sit knowing the voting tendencies of the AP - in the Top 25.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 10:02 AM on December 19, 2007

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