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Playoff out, PlayStation in: OSU’s fate determined

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JP Richardson

John Paul Richardson makes the catch to advance the Cowboys down the field.

The play removed all intrigue from the next day.

Baylor safety Jarion McVea dragged down more than Oklahoma State running back Dezmon Jackson on Saturday.

He dragged down a College Football Playoff bid.

By downing Jackson one-yard shy of the goal line as the final seconds melted off the clock in the Big 12 Championship Game, McVea cemented a second OSU loss.

Instead of raging arguments and blind resume comparisons evaluating the merits of OSU against other schools vying for a top-four spot, the Sunday afternoon selection show was merely confirmation of many predictions.

No. 9 OSU will play in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl against No. 5 Notre Dame.

“The guys are hurting in there, but that’s kind of the way it is,” coach Mike Gundy said after Saturday’s game. “We still got another game, and it’s a special group. They’re still looking forward to being together another three weeks or so before we go play in a bowl.”

Senior offensive lineman Josh Sills said he felt heart break for his teammates.

“It sucks,” Sills said. “It hurts. We’ll learn from it. We’ll get in and watch the film, and we still have a lot to play for. I’m sure we’re going to get a good bowl game.”

That consolation prize, a Fiesta Bowl matchup against the Fighting Irish, is indeed “a good bowl game” as Sills predicted.

It is the same bowl OSU reached (and won) in 2011, regarded by some as the greatest season in Cowboy football history.

If bowl game gift precedent holds, players will get a PlayStation 5 instead of a conference championship ring.

But for a team that was separated from a decent shot at its first CFP bid by a yard of the finest artificial turf that Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones can buy, receiving any kind of consolation stings.

“Obviously, we all want to win,” senior linebacker Devin Harper said. “That’s the goal. We are all competitive and not coming out on top, it sucks.”

For Gundy, disappointment does not lie in his players.

“I don’t have any disappointment with our team,” Gundy said. “Again, I’m going to go back to the very first thing. In our culture we ask them to do certain things, and if they do what we ask them to do at the very best of their ability, then that’s all we can ask them to do.”

The Cowboys eliminated themselves from playoff consideration, shoring up a spot for future conference foe Cincinnati and making what would have been a difficult decision for the CFP selection quite easy.

said offensive lineman Josh Sills, “I don’t really know other than just heart break. I hurt for the guys around me. You know, they put in the work every day, every month. That’s all the way back from the offseason, fall camp, spring ball up until now. I just hurt for those guys. It sucks. It hurts. We’ll learn from it. We’ll get in and watch the film, and we still have a lot to play for. I’m sure we’re going to get a bowl game. We’ve just got to bounce back and go win that game.”

Devin Harper was asked if the disappoint was stemming from losing a Big 12 title, a playoff spot or what?

“It’s all of it as a whole,” Obviously, we all want to win. That’s the goal. We are all competitive and not coming on top, it sucks.”

sports.ed@ocolly.com