Some Cowboys downplayed the significance. Others admitted they were looking forward to today.
Either way, Iowa State was the lone speed bump that derailed Oklahoma State's run to spot in the national title game last season, and the Cowboys earned a little revenge with a 31-10 win against No. 24 Iowa State.
It felt a little weird to see the Cyclones play on the road as a ranked team against an unranked Oklahoma State squad, but the Cowboys clearly looked like the better team, despite playing without receivers Tracy Moore and Isaiah Anderson, two of the team's top five receivers.
Charlie Moore filled the void, grabbing eight balls for 129 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown catch. He entered the game with just 11 catches for 191 yards.
The Iowa State defense slowed Joseph Randle for most of the day, but he set up Oklahoma State's fourth touchdown of the day with a 62-yard run down to the Iowa State 14-yard line. He finished with 151 yards on 24 carries with a pair of scores.
Wes Lunt didn't play, but J.W. Walsh joined him as a 400-yard passer this season, completing 32-of-47 passes for 415 yards and a touchdown without an interception. Lunt is still day-to-day, but you have to wonder if the redshirt conversation has to be coming if Lunt can't get back on the field.
It's a good win for the Pokes, who move to 4-2 and get their best win of 2012 by far. Iowa State falls to 4-3 and likely out of the BCS standings, but the Cyclones will certainly be in the mix for that sixth win to reach a third bowl in four years under Paul Rhoads.
Iowa State, though, has to figure out its quarterback issues first. OSU's defense has struggled for much of the season, but Iowa State's decision to shuffle in Steele Jantz late for Jared Barnett wasn't effective. Outside of Kansas, Iowa State might have the worst quarterback situation in the Big 12. You can't expect to make a bowl game looking like that.
The win is Mike Gundy's 63rd at Oklahoma State, passing his former coach Pat Jones as the winningest coach in school history.
It's about to get a lot tougher for an unproven Oklahoma State team, though. Just how good are the Cowboys? We'll find out over the next month with five more ranked teams waiting. Today was just the first of six games vs. teams in this week's BCS rankings. The Pokes host No. 23 TCU next week before traveling to No. 4 Kansas State and later hosting Nos. 13 West Virginia and 17 Texas Tech. The stretch ends in Norman vs. No. 9 Oklahoma.
The rest of the Big 12 will soon see exactly what the reigning champs are made of.