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More Than A Championship

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By Robert Allen and Mike Gundy

On the day that two of Oklahoma State University’s most promising athletes announced they would be delaying their entrance into the NFL and return to OSU for one final season, the seed was planted for More Than A Championship: The 2011 Oklahoma State Cowboys.

In preparing for the season the coaches knew this could be OSU’s year, they knew 2011 was going to be different. The support of the fans, commitment of the coaches, and dedication of the players provided the elements for what everyone hoped would be the “year of the Cowboys.”

The record books will forever show a 12-1 season, a Big 12 Championship, and the team’s first BCS Bowl appearance and Fiesta Bowl win. It will be recorded that the team was led by a National Coach of the Year, named by the Football Writers Association of America, and recipient of the Paul “Bear” Bryant College Coach of the Year Award.

However, it is impossible to record the wins and losses off the field. The connection that fostered a rare friendship between a player and a young fan, coupled with the grief of losing a loved one during the season, may have provided the team with its greatest reward—learning firsthand that there is much more to life than a championship.

From the press conference that lunched the season to the Fiesta Bowl win, More Than A Championship celebrates the many successes and triumphs, as well as the failures and loss of life, the Cowboys program faced during its greatest season ever.

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