September 18, 2011
Oklahoma State 59, Tulsa 33.
What happens when you combine a late kickoff, a three-hour weather delay and a time-consuming brand of spread football? An actual Division I football game that ends a little after 3:30 in the morning.
Oklahoma State and Tulsa were originally scheduled for a 9 p.m. Central start on Saturday night, apparently hoping to attract a few stray eyeballs on Fox Sports Net after the night's big primetime tilts. Instead, lightning in the Tulsa area pushed the kickoff back to 12:15 a.m., only barely in compliance with NCAA bylaws, and the final gun didn't sound for another three hours. Hey, the show must go on.
On the field, it was over much earlier: Oklahoma State led 31-6 at the half, extending the advantage to 45-6 early in the third quarter before Tulsa started to land a few late, meaningless blows of its own, just keep everyone around a little longer. For the game, both teams combined for 1,029 yards, 61 first downs, eleven touchdowns, nine punts, eight turnovers and eight penalties on 173 plays — all of which, along with 29 incomplete passes, served to keep the game clock in a slow, sleep-deprived crawl to the finish. By the fourth quarter, the worn-out FSN broadcast team appeared to be approaching a state of delirium as officials continued to go through the motions of calling routine holding penalties. You'll recognize them in church this morning as the guys snoring loudly in the back pew, still wearing their game stripes.
Elsewhere in the Big 12, there was no such commitment in Waco, Texas, where Baylor and Stephen F. Austin agreed to call it quits in the third quarter with lightning threatening the game for the second time and Baylor holding an insurmountable 48-0 lead. The Bears have come a long way on the field, but clearly, they still have a lot to learn about passion.